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THE tBROWN BOOK OF 

THE HITLER TERROR. 

AND THE BURNING OF 
THE REICHSTAG I 

Prepared by the World Committee for the 
Victims of German Fascism 

With an Introduction by 

Lord Marley 


LONDON 

VICTOR GOLLANCZ LTD 
14 Henrietta Street Covent Garden 
1933 




CONTENTS 


Foreword, P a & e 9 
Chap. I The Path to Power 1 1 

II “The Reichstag is in Flames!” 43 

III Van der Lubbe, the Tool 54 

IV The Real Incendiaries ^ 63 

V Destruction of the Workers’ Oganisations 143 

VI The Campaign Against Culture 160 

VII Brutality and Torture • *94 

VIII The Persecution of Jews 228 

IX The Concentration Camps 286 

X Murder 3 1 3 

XI The German Workers’ Fight Against 
* Fascism 333 

Appendix— List of Murders 34 1 



m 9 & 

* * 

1 

> 

ft 

i 

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 
* 

• 

# 1 

NO. 

page 

i. The Gate of Lies is wide open : Hitler speaks ! 

*7 

2. Minister of Lies in the 6 4 Third Empire 53 ; Dr. Josef 

Goebbels 

25 1 

3. The Executioner of the* “ Third Empire 53 : 


Hermann Goering, Premier of Prussia 

57 

4. Van der Lubbe, after his arrest in the Rgichstag, 

• 

undergoing interrogation in the presence of j 

journalists 

61 

5. The Reichstag in Flames 

65 

6. Ernst Torgler, Chairman of the Communist 1 

fraction in the # Reichstag 

87 

7. Section Plan of the German Reichstag building 

133 

8. Registration Card, Langbro Asylum, of Captain 1 

Hermann Wilhelm Goering 

139 

q. Certificate of the Stockholm Police Doctor that • I 

S£ Captain Goering is a morphia addict 35 

X4I 

10. Nazi Punitive Expedition against the working- I 

class quarter of Diisseldorf-Bilk 

203 | 

11. Frau Maria Jankowski, district Social Welfare 1 

director 

217 

12. ftabbi Jonas Fraenkel after being brutally 


assaulted by Nazis 

245 

12 a. Official denial issued through Wolff Telegraph 

• 

m 

Bureau that any such person as Rabbi Fraenkel 

t * 

existed # 

245 § 

12 b. Letter from Hindenburg, dated Jan. 5th, 1933, to 1 

• Rabbi Fraenkel, which proves his existence 

245 

13. Storm troop pickets at the entrance to a Wool- I 

worth store in Berlin 

• 

# 

261 

• 


8 


LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 


page 


NO. 

1 4.. Herr Kuhnt, the former Premier of Oldenburg 

and Social Democratic Member of the Reichstag 289 

15. Prisoners in the concentration camp at Oranien- 

burg 2 93 

16. Crete Messing, a working woman, who was shot 
down in the street 

'17. Heinz Bassler, “ shot while trying to escape 


55 


321 

352 


FOREWORD 


£3 


It is always difficult to secure authentic information 
as to what is happening under a well-organised terror. Even 
experienced journalists find it difficult, in spite of their 
training, to get anything like the truth. Special credit is due* 
to a few of the Foreign Press correspondents in Germany 
who, at the risk of losing their posts, have contrived to get • 
so much of the truth across the frontier. 

Many authentic documents have been placed # at the dis- 
posal of the World Committee for the Victims of German 
Fascism : some by journalists, others by doctors and mem- 
bers of the legal profession, to whom special means of dis- 
covering the truth w^re available, but who did not dare and 
indeed were unable to publish their information in Ger- 
many. Other documents have been sent by the tortured 
and martyred victims themselves. For the greater part of 
the material the Committee has to thank its own reporters, 
who have been working in Germany at the risk of their 
lives. 

We have not used the most sensational of these docu- 
ments. Every statement made in this book has been care- 
fully verified and is typical of a number of similar cases. 

We would have been able to publish even worse individual 
eases, but we have not done this, just because they were in- 
dividual cases. Not a single one of the cases published in 
this book is an exceptional case. Each case cited is typical 
of many others which are in our possession or in the hands 
of the National Committees. * * 

These manifestations of Fascism are appalling. But the 1 
memory of the public is short, and public opinion is un- 
fortunately only too ready to reconcile itself to a fait 
m accofnpli 9 as in the case of Italy. 

This book aims at keeping alive the memory of the 
criminal acts of the Nazi Government. It is a contribution 


# 


10 


FOREWORD 


‘ to the fight against Hitler Fascism. This fight is not directed 
against Germany ; it is a fight on behalf of the real 
Germany. 


Marley, 

Chairman of the World Committee 
for the Victims of German Fascism. 


House of Lords* 
London , S. Wa 




' Chapter I : THE PATH TO POWER’ 

• 

The 66 German Labour Party’ 5 was founded in -Munich 
in January 1919. In July of that year Adolf .Hitler, at 
that time 44 Education Officer 55 in the Reichswehr, joined 
this party. He was the seventh member of what later devel- 
oped into the National Socialist German Labour Party. 

Who were the founders andffirst members of this party > 
From what sections of the population did they come, and 
what interests did they represent ? In the first place, tlfey 
consisted of soldiers and officers who had come back from 
the war completely disillusioned. For four yeafs they had 
honestly believed in the chauvinist slogans with which they 
had been fed. They had staked their lives in the struggle for 
a Greater Germany. They believed in the legenfl that 
pacifist and Social Democratic traitors had stabbed the 
German Army in t&e back and brought about its defeat. 
These men who came back were deeply embittered by 
what they thought was the weakness of the ruling class, 
the treachery and flight of the Kaiser and of the deposed 
princes, and the failure of the generals of the Great War 
to strike* down the 44 November criminals. 55 

These deeply disillusioned soldiers and officers could no 
longer find a place for themselves in civil life. To a great 
extent the professions which they had once practised now 
no longer existed. This was true particularly of the profes- 
sional soldiers, military cadets and a number of categories 
of officials. They were joined by members of the uprooted 
" nobility, students who had been torn from their studies by 
the war, and declassed and radicalised members of the 
middle classes who now began to feel the ground giving 
way under their feet. All of these elements, who at that 
time aSo flocked into the many other military bodies which 
arose at that time — the Einwohnerwehr, the Stahlhelm and 
the*Ehrhardt Brigade — formed the first basis of the young 
National Socialist German Labour Association, as the party 
first called itself officially. 


# • » 

12 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

# For two years after its formation the* National Socialists 
were quite an insignificant group. The November revolu- 

* lion of 191.8 had been beaten down, and the capitalist 
system had got a new lease of life. The Social Democrat 
Friedrich Ebert became the first President of the Weimar 
Republic. The old forces of finance-capitalism consolidated 
their rule again. The trade union, leaders had concluded an 
agreement with the employers, based on negotiations in 

•November 1918 between Hugo Stinnes and the president 
of the General Committee of the trade unions, the Social 
Democrat Karl Legien. What at that time could Hitler 
do for the leading groups of German capitalists ? At that 
period they were not yet in need of the National Socialists. 
Hitler’s Association therefore remained without any signi- 
ficance. He himself continued in the service of the Reichs- 
wehr •until April 1920, giving political lectures to the 
soldiers. On instructions from the Reichswehr he also 
“ observed ” political organisations and meetings, bringing 
in reports and information. This was how Hitler first came 
into contact with the “ German Labour Party.” 

Not long afterwards the political importance of the party 
began to grow. The political situation in Germany began 
to change rapidly under the effect of the dictated Peace of 
Versailles and the losses of the War. Milliards of marks 
were demanded in reparations and had to be paid. Im- 
portant industrial areas were lopped off ; Alsace-Lorraine, 
Upper Silesia, the Saar territory, Posen and West Prussia — 
the so-called Polish corridor— Danzig and Eugen Malmedy. 
The German market was still further restricted by the loss 
of a considerable portion of its European and oversea con- 
nections in addition to the German colonies. The cost of 
demobilisation and of putting the war industries on to a 
peace basis was a terrific burden on the smaller taxpayers, 
as the dominant circles of German monopoly capifal were 
continuously devising new methods of transferring the re- 
parations payments and all other losses on to the shoulders 
of the workers and the middle class. 

This development reached its highest point in the inflation 


• * 

THE PATH TO POWER 


*3 

* which had begun during the war but was onlyVidely felt • 
among the population in the course of 1921 and 19522. 

In the autumn of 1923 it reached the point of catastrophe. * 
t It had brought about still further impoverishment of the 
workers, and had transformed a considerable section of the 
middle classes into proletarians. Millions of the poorer 
sections of the middle class were literally robbed of every- 
thing they had by the inflation. The State paid the banks 
and heavy industry concerns 600,000,000 gold marks as* 
compensation for the occupation of the Ruhr by the French,, 
and these concerns also made enormous profits. 

The economic chaos produced far-reaching political 
disturbances. Erzberger and Rathenau fell victims to the 
bullets of Nationalist murderers. Among the working class 
a process of radicalisation was taking place. The Spartacus 
struggles in Berlin in January 1919 were followed ify the 
rising of the worker^ in the Ruhr during the Kapp Putsch 
of March 1920, and the workers 5 revolt in March 1921. 
The workers began to leave the Social Democratic organisa- 
tions, making their way first to the Independent Social 
Democrats, then, after the autumn of 1920, to the Com- 
munist Party. Great demonstrations culminated in the 
Hamburg rising of October 1923. 

The 25 points of the Nazi Programme. In 1920 the 
National Socialist German Labour Party first began to 
develop importance. In February of that year Hitler him- 
self, at a meeting in Munich, put forward the programme 
\ the party, the so-called 25 points. These are a hash of 
theses and demands which in parts are self-contradictory. 
The political practice of the Nazi Party has at no time * 
followed the principles laid down in the 25 points. Nor 
did it natter to Hitler and his vassals that at the end of the 
programme the following passage occurs : * 

leaders of the party undertake, if necessary at the 
risk of their own lives, to work unceasingly for the carry- 
ing through of the points enumerated above. 55 

* 


t M ' : I 

14 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

This was* not the only promise which the Nazi leaders 
gavp and failed to keep. In a general meeting of the party 
in May 1926, a resolution was once again adopted stressing 
the s< unalterable character 95 of the party’s programme. 
Gottfried Feder, the joint author of the 25 points and 
theoretician of the party, in his commentary on the pro- 
gramme laid stress on the fact that : 

« •“ There must be no tampering with the basis and funda- 
mental conceptions of this programme. There must be 
* * no twisting and turning on any opportunist grounds, 
there must be no hide-and-seek with the present State, 
econo rrtic and social order of things, and there must be 
no weakening of our principles. . . . Those who in the 
Jewish question, in our fight against high finance, 
against the Dawes Pact and the policy of impoverishing 
Germany, or in other questions on our programme, 
cannot see eye to eye with the irrevocable aims and 
methods which we have laid down ; those who believe 
that the freedom of the German nation can be 
4 bought 9 through the League of Nations or Locarno 
by compromise and cowardice — such people need have 
nothing to do with us ; let them remain outside of our 
party.” 

But all these magnificent words cannot hide the fact that 
the National Socialist leaders have repeatedly repudiated 
and betrayed their own half-hearted and compromising 
programme. Their treachery to their programme Begins 
with the first two points : point 1, “ the union of all Ger- 
mans on the basis of the right of self-determination of 
peoples, to form a Greater Germany 99 ; point 2, “ The 
equal right of the German nation with all other nations, 
and the cancellation of the Peace Treaties of Versailles and 
St. Germain.” Neither of these two points in his programme 
prevented Hitler, both before and after his seizure of po^er, 
from concluding compromises with the signatories of the 
Versailles Treaty, and sending envoys to negotiate with 




c 


* THE PATH TO POWER 15 

the League of Nations, France, Poland, England and 
Italy. 

Nor did either of these points make him hesitate to betray * 
the South Tyrol to Mussolini. In the first edition of JFeder’s 
Commentary on the programme the following passage 
occurs ; “ We shall not give up a single German in South 
Germany, in Alsace-Lorraine, in the South Tyrol , in Poland, 
in Austria, the colony of the League of Nations, and the 
succession States of what was formerly Austria. 55 In the second* 
and all later editions , the words “ in the South Tyrol 55 were 
omitted . It may be noted in passing that in his foreword to* 
the fifth edition Feder remarks 4 4 The only alterations 
which have been made are in the case of a £(*w stylistic 
expressions and passages which might have led to misunder- 
standing. 55 

It is the same with other points of the prograftnme, 
particularly the demands of an economic and social charac- 
ter, such as 44 the abolition of income derived without 
labour and effort, 55 44 abolition of the domination of inter- 
est 55 (point 1 1) ; 44 the complete confiscation of all war 
profits 55 (point 12) ; 44 the taking over by the State of all 
concerns which have already been trustified 55 (point 13) ; 

44 participation in the profits of large concerns 55 (point 14) ; 

44 a considerable extension of provision for old age 55 
(point 15) ; 44 the creation and maintenance of a healthy 
middle class ; the immediate municipalisation of the large 
stores, and the leasing of them at low prices to small trades- 
people ; close control of all small tradespeople in their sales 
to the Reich, to the constituent States of the Reich, or to the 
local authorities 55 (point 16) ; 44 land reform suited to our 
national needs, the establishment of legislation to provide 
for expropriation of land without compensation where m * 
required for public purposes, abolition of the land tax, and » *j 
measures to prevent speculation in land 55 {point 17). It I 

is not necessary to examine each of these points in the 
programme in detail. Some of them will be dealt with in 
TLater chapters, as for example the points relating to the 
Jewish question (points 4-S and 23). 


l6 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

At this stage, we are concerned oniy with indicating the 
general basis of the National Socialist programme and with 
* showing how the leaders of the National Socialist Party 
have unscrupulously betrayed their own programme. The 
demands themselves are in part reactionary, lower middle- 
class demands, as for example “ the creation and mainten- 
ance of a healthy middle class. 95 Here too, we have half- 
heartedness and contradiction such as is characteristic of 
the programme throughout: For how is the middle class to 
be maintained if the capitalist economic system, which 
necessarily destroys the middle class and brings them into 
the ranks of the working class, is also to be maintained? This 
is also true of the point dealing with agrarian policy. How 
can Hitler save the peasantry if he maintains private 
property intact, if he repudiates any expropriation of the 
big landlords in favour of the landless peasant ? In April 
1928 Hitler expressly stated that the National Socialist 
Party was determined to protect the private ownership of 
the means of production with all the strength it could 
command. In an explanation of the phrase “ expropriation 
without compensation 55 in point 17 of his programme he 
stated that this only referred to legislation authorising the 
expropriation, where necessary, of land which was hot being 
properly used from the standpoint of the welfare of the 
people ; and that this passage was in the first place directed 
against Jewish land-speculation companies. 

On the other hand the National Socialist programme also 
contained demands which had previously been the stock- 
in-trade of Liberal parties, and also demands embodied in 
the Weimar Constitution. Point 13, the taking over of the 
trusts by the State, is stolen straight out of the programme of 
the German Democratic Party of 1919. Other points are 
unfulfilled promises made in the Weimar Constitution. 
Examples of this are : point 15, “ extension of provision for 
old age 55 ; point 20, “ full opportunities for ability 55 ; 
compare with the Constitution and the Welfare AoS of 
1924 ; point 21, <£ improvement of the health of the people ~ 
and protection for mother and child 55 ; and point 24, 





1 8 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

4t public service before private interest ” — compare para- 
graph 156 of the Constitution. 

The Growth of the Na$i Movement. Hitler appeared 
in the first great meetings organised by the Nationalist 
Socialist Party to put forward this programme. At that 
period, the agitation against the Versailles Treaty was put 
in the forefront of the Nazi agitation. The more the middle 
•class was affected by the continuous inflation, the more 
popular the Nazi demonstrations became. It cannot how- 
ever be disputed that in the middle class it was not only the 
materia] losses they suffered through reparations, inflation 
and the occupation of the Ruhr which affected their outlook 
but also the blow to national sentiment which was inflicted 1 
by the dictated Peace of Versailles and the entry of French 
troops** into German territory. 

In February 1921, soon after the reparations negotiations, 
a great National Socialist demonstration was held in 
Munich with the slogan “ Germany’s future or extinction. 5 ’ 
For the first time motors carrying swastika flags passed 
through the streets of Munich, advertising the demonstra- 
tion. Posters were put up everywhere with the demagogic 
text : 

u If sixty million Germans, young and old, declare their 
united determination : 4 We will not pay, 5 then the 
will of these millions will at least secure the respect which 
is not given to those who kiss the lash which whips them. 

We are men, not dogs. The sixty million Germans, must 
tell the Government clearly that whoever negotiates 
will be overthrown ! 55 

This demonstration was a great success for Hitler. The 
National parties and associations which had been using old 
pre-war methods of propaganda ridiculed the “ young 
man 55 when he came to them proposing the organisation 
of giant demonstrations against the Government’s “ policy " * 
of fulfilment,” and still more when, on their refusal, he 


■it* 


THE PATH TO POWER ig 

► himself undertook the task with his own tiny party. But the • 
programme of the Nationalist parties, which was that of the 
Junkers and big capitalists, was not suitable for the middle * 
classes, who however were carried away by the twenty-five 
points and Hitler’s unscrupulous agitation. 

The failure of the Kapp Putsch had shown the weakness of 
the Junkers. The putsch was based on the support of the big 
landlords and parts of the Reichswehr and the higher grades 
of the civil service, besides a few military groups ; but it was * 
completely out of touch with the discontent in the middle, 
class. It was therefore beaten by the working class within 
twenty-four hours. * 

The Stahlhelm too could never win more than a very 
limited influence, chiefly among peasant and urban youth 
and the most backward sections of the workers— -members 
of the Yellow Unions and agricultural labourers. Bift the 
National Socialists were different. They put forward their 
imaginary fight against *' ‘ international Jewish banking 
and speculative capital ” and their slogan of the “ national 
union 55 in which all sections of the population would live 
at peace with each other under a strong State, and with this 
programme they were able to penetrate widely different 
groups, including large numbers of the middle class. In 
1921 the membership of the National Socialist Party grew 
from 3,000 to 6,000 ; but its sphere of influence at that time 
was almost exclusively limited to Bavaria. In North Ger- 
many the movements under Graefe, Wulle, Henning and 
Count Reventlow were very much stronger. 

In j'g 20 the first congress of the National Socialist Party 
was held in Salzburg. This congress was attended by mem- 
bers of the Austrian National Socialist Party, which dated 
from before the war. It had been formed in 1904 as a 
“German Labour Party, 55 and in May 1918 this joined 
with otlrer groups to form the National Socialist Party of 
Austria. National Socialism dates therefore from the early 
jrca** °f tile century. It developed first in Bohemia, where 
the national question played a particularly important rdle. 
Hitler, an Austrian by birth, had taken a great deal from 


20 


BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

I 

' their programme. But he was unable to reach an agreement 
at Salzburg with Jung, the leader of the Bohemian Party. 

The next congress was held at Reichenhall in 1921. This 
congress ‘was held jointly with Russian and Ukrainian White Guard 
associations . Hetman Skoropadski was among the speakers. 
In conjunction with the National Socialist Alfred Rosen- 
berg, whose family came from the Baltic provinces and who 
later became editor of the Volkischer Beobachter and Nazi 
^expert in foreign politics, tlie White Guard emigrants de- 
veloped their plans of intervention against the Soviet State, 
wliich had just driven out the last of the troops of interven- 
tion. Already at that period Rosenberg had developed 
connections with Deterding and the German industrial 
employer Rechberg, both of them violently hostile to the 
Soviet* Union. It is interesting to note that in the Volkischer 
Beobachter Rosenberg wrote his first anti-Bolshevik articles— 
which were pro-Polish ! # 

In a manifesto issued in connection with the congress of 
the party in Munich in January 1922, Hitler, who had still 
to win his position as sole dictator of the Nazi Party, stated 
that it was necessary to purge the movement, as it had 
become a breeding-ground for well-meaning fools, who 
were all the more dangerous because of their good inten- 
tions. This was evidently directed against the other founders 
of the party, including Anton Drexler and Korner, who 
were not prepared to follow Hitler in his new and un- 
scrupulous methods. High and influential officers in the 
Reichswehr at Munich had for a considerable time given 
support to the movement ; among them were some of 
Hitler’s former colleagues of 1919 and 1920. With their 
help he set up, alongside of the party organisation proper 
and the Press and propaganda department, a third organis- 
ation, which in the following years and later on served as his 
main fighting c weapon : the storm troops. 

In the summer of 1920, the National Socialist Party, 
under the pretext of protecting their meetings against „ 
attacks by the “ Reds,” had set up what they called a 
“ corps for maintaining order.” But this was too small and 


» 

THE PATH TO POWER 


21 


"f 

• weak for Hitler, wlio in August 1921 set up his own pro- # 
tective organisation ; the storm troops. These formed the 
terrorist section of the National Socialist Party and were » 
brought directly under the political leadership of the 
party. 

Who Financed Hitler? Not long after this period, a 
number of capitalists, particularly in South Germany, 
began to take an interest in Hitler and the National Socialist • 
Party, with a view to drawing them in to support their own 
reactionary politics. They realised the value of the National 
Socialist movement as a weapon against the militant 
sections of the working class, and they were therefore pre- 
pared to support the Nazis, particularly with finance. 

In the Hitler-Ludendorff trial of 1924 it was proved that 
Hitler had received considerable sums of money fftr his 
party from Aust, the director of the Bavarian Employers 5 
Association ; Bechstein, the piano manufacturer ; Maffei, 
an industrial employer in Munich ; and Hornschuh of 
Kulmbach, and Grandel of Augsburg, two manufacturers. 

Hitler also gave lectures on his aims in the select clubs of 
bankers, landlords and big employers of labour. In return, 
he received contributions in support of the National 
Socialist Press, and for similar purposes. Hitler also received 
subsidies from Borsig, a large industrial employer of Berlin, 
who was chairman of the Union of German Employers 5 
Associations. An agent of Hitler’s in Switzerland, Dr. 
Gausser, is also said to have secured for Hitler finance from 
Henry Ford and also from French capitalist groups who 
were speculating on the Bavarian separatist movement. 

It is probable that the full sources of Hitler’s finance will 
only become known when the archives come into the hands * * 
of the German workers. But political proof of the source of a 
his finance is already clear. The whole policy of the National 
Socialist Party and the declarations of sympathy for it 
macte by important capitalist groups, such as Thyssen and 
Schacht, are proof of the great interest necessarily taken in 
the Hitler movement by the ruling class. Hitler’s debts, and 






22 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR . s| , 

the immefise expenditure on propaganda and for the main- # 
tepance of the storm troops, were factors which played a 
certain role in bringing him into action in 1923* 


The Putsch of November 9th, 1923* The Munich Putsch 

of November gth, 1923, was the highest point and also the 
end of the first upward movement of the National Socialist 
Party, All through 1923 Hitler had been urging his allies 
« in the Bavarian Government and the Reichswehr to take 
, action. Early in November he mobilised the fighting 
associations, and in a great demonstration of patriotic 
associations In Munich, announced the formation of “ the 
National " Republic* 95 He announced the deposition of ^ 
Ebert, appointed himself Chancellor, Kahr his vice-consul 
for Bavaria, Pohner, the chief of the Munich police, Prime 
Minister, and Ludendorff Minister of the Reichswehr, The 
Bavarian Ministers were arrested, but released by Luden- 
dorff a few hours later on parole. At first Kahr supported 
Hitler’s proposals, but in the evening went with General 
von Lossow and Colonel Seisser to the barracks of the 1 9th 
Infantry Regiment, from which they declared in a broad- 
cast that they repudiated the Hitler Putsch . Kahr stated that 
his consent had been obtained from him by the threat of 
force. He also announced the compulsory liquidation of the 
National Socialist German Labour Party as well as the 
fighting associations “ Oberland ” and “ Reichsflagge, 9 ’ 
This report and the order for the dissolution of these 
organisations were published in the Munich papers on 
November gth. I 

Hitler and Ludendorff made a despairing effort to take 
# power, although Hitler had given his word of honour a few 
months earlier to the Bavarian Minister of the Interior that 
he would not make any attempt at a putsch . They marched 
with their fighting organisations through the streets. The 
Reichswehr maintained an attitude of neutrality. It would 
not fire on the marching troops. Bavarian police aWaited 
Hitler’s approach in one of the public buildings. The police ; 
fired one volley : fifteen of the Hitlerites fell dead. Hitler 


A 

* . • 

THE PATH TO POWER 2g 

himself fled and was arrested in the villa of a priflcess before* 
lie was able to cross the Austrian frontier. Goering flecj to 
Italy and later to Sweden. Ludendorff was not arrested. * 
The trial of the putschists of November gth took place in 
the spring of 1924. The judges were merciful and sym- 
pathetic : for the accused were 44 nationally minded 53 
people who had acted 44 with the best intentions. 53 The 
accused were : Hitler ; Field Marshal von Ludendorff ; 
Frick, a police official, who was to become Minister of the* 
Interior in 1933; Captain Rohm; Lieutenant Fernet, 
LudendorfFs stepson ; and a few others. Nazi historians 
record that the accused were in cheerful mood, and were 
smiling and cracking jokes. Hitler was sentenced to five 
years 3 detention in a fortress — subject to being released on 
parole when he had served a portion of the sentence. A 
few months later, in December 1924, he was released from 
the Landsberg fortress. Rohm, Frick and Bruckner got away 
with only three months 5 detention. Ludendorff was released 
without punishment, on the ground that he had been 
carried away in the excitement of the moment. Hitler, then 
still an Austrian citizen, was not expelled but was allowed 
to continue to reside in Germany. 

The Nazis disappear from the scene. The failure of 
the 1923 putsch formed the close of the 44 insurrectionary 53 
period of the Hitler movement. The time of plans for armed 
uprisings against the 44 Jewish government in Berlin 33 had 
now passed. The German economic situation had reached 
a certain stability, and the position of the middle class was 
improving. Hence for some years the National Socialist 
Party virtually disappeared from the scene. The united * 
People’s and National Socialist parties, which in the Reich- 
stag elections of May 1924 had obtained 1,900,000 votes 
and 32 seats, in December of that year secured only 840,000 
votes and 14 seats. They sank down among the 44 splinter 
• parties, 35 while the German Nationals secured over 100 and 
the Social Democrats 120 seats. 

The following years were marked by internal struggles 


H .... « 

sunimet of .9=5 *e ° 5™^2 Lporters went over to 
and a large section o r em plovcrs continued to take 

Hitler. In the meanwhile, the emp ^ ^ had won n 

back from the workers the cone y forme d of the 

* 9 * 8 . I« January 1925 a 0 f the German 

reactionary parties under _ x^lelci Marshal von Hm- 
Nationalists. Three months later IieW ^ Qf ^ Righ t 

•denburg was elected by thfe c Reich , The National 

.to succeed Ebert as president * ' t ed the hopeless 

Socialists, who in the first baUot had suppm t ^ ^ fof 

candidature 'of Ludendorff, 1 . f the transformation 

Hindenburg ; this was the begmnm,, 
of the National Socialist mo > 

The ’Nazis support Prmces^ of the 

tion with the referendum chorus of all the 
princes, the NaUona Soc . ‘ J Natio nalists to the 

reactionary parties Horn me . « The expr opria- 

Centro and Dem«r«t m ^ ^‘““dU»„.ed wealth 1 - 
tion of the princes is r. Y , their line in con- 

Moreover, the Nazis have ne . e f 0 f the Nazi fraction 

“ A sense of justice mates » SodaUsm 

'zzssszZ’sfs*: 

• The German princes and form« Tto 
the Nazis for this attitude y P S ^ ^ N * azis _ We 
“ compensation ® on ®J ^ A ugust-Wilhelm, son of the 

ZSZSZSttw of 




m • 


® • 

26 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR jP- 

• * V 
■ Schaumburg-Lippe ; and recently the former Crown Prince • * 

has joined the Motor Corps of the Nazis. The National j 

Socialists have not been in a position to deny that the ^ 

ex-Kaiser Wilhelm II has also helped in the financing of * 
the storm troops. | 

Hitler then tried the policy of drawing closer to the re- J 
actionary parties in order to win back the confidence of the | 

capitalists, which he had lost through the Munich Putsch . j 

He attempted to win legal positions, because he realised | 

. that this was the only way to win the favour and support 
of the ruling class. Once again he began lecturing in the 
employers’ clubs, in order to persuade the big capitalists 
that his ideas were not at all dangerous, and to explain to 4 * 
them how much better they could work with the National 
Socialists than with the unpatriotic Social Democrats. But 
now*the “ leader ” did not restrict his activities to South 
Germany. He went to the western gxeas, to find the in- 
dustrial barons in their citadels. In 1926 he spoke twice to 
specially invited audiences in Essen and Konigswinter ; 
and again in 1927 at the Krupp Hall in Essen. The organ 
of heavy industry, the Rheinisch-Westfalische Zeitung , records 
the applause with which Hitler’s remarks were greeted. 

Strasser and Goebbels speak of cc Socialism.” In the 
same period — and this is typical of the double-faced, un- 
scrupulous propaganda of the National Socialists— Gregor 
Strasser, one of Hitler’s lieutenants, toured through North 
and East Germany with “ socialist ” slogans of the 4 4 Ger- 
man revolution.” At that time also Josef Goebbels comes * 
on the stage ; he was a young Catholic writer from the 
Rhineland. In October 1925 Strasser started the National 
Socialist Correspondence , which became as it were the 
“ theoretical ” organ of the “ left 99 National Socialists. 
Goebbels, aTfirst editor of this journal, then went in 1926 
to Berlin as district leader ; up to then the movement had 
made little headway there. From July 1927 he published 
a weekly called Der Angriff, with the pseudo-socialist mot- / 
toes : £6 For the oppressed ! Against the exploiters ! ” 

/ ; ' - • ' ¥ 


THE PATH TO POWER 


27 

Gregor Strasser, with his brother Otto, formerly a Social * 
Democrat, started a small press in Berlin, the “Karqpf- 
Verlag . 55 It produced three daily papers : the Nationaler ' 

Socialist (NS) in Berlin, the Markischer Beobachter for the 
Brandenburg province, and the Sdchsiger Beobachter . At that 
time these were the only Nazi daily newspapers in Central 
and North Germany. The Kampf-Verlag also published 
three weekly papers and a number of books and pamphlets. 

There is no doubt that at that" period Gregor Strasser at- • 
tempted to rival Hitler in North Germany ; he had certain, 
differences with Hitler, and only made these up later. But # 
he continued to carry out an independenf policy and 
eventually, at the end of 1932, Hitler relieved him of his 
functions, when he had become too closely associated with 
General Schleicher. 

In all the publications of the Kampf-Verlag a* very 
44 radical 55 tone wasjused, which was intended to make the 
reader believe that he was being spoken to by a 44 friend of 
the workers 55 and even a 44 class-fighter,* 5 “ National or 
International Socialism, 55 a pamphlet published by the 
Kampf-Verlag, asserted that 44 The National Socialist 
Party is the class party of creative labour. 55 The author of 
this pamphlet was Jung, first president of the Austrian 
Nazis. Gregor Strasser’s motto was “ Freedom and Bread, 55 
and his trade-mark is a hammer and sword. 

Goebbels uses the same tactics in his pamphlet : 4 4 The 
Nazi-Sozi : Questions and Answers for Nationalists. 55 

44 There can surely be nothing more hypocritical than 
a fat, well-fed capitalist who protests against the pro- 
letarian idea of class struggle. , , . Who gave you the m % 
right to throw out your chest, swollen with national ** 
responsibility, in indignation against the class struggle * 
of t&e proletariat ? Has not the capitalist State for 
some 60 years been an organised class State, which 
Wrought 'with it as an inevitable historical necessity the 
proletarian idea of class struggle ? . , . Are you not 
ashamed, you well-fed Central European, to fight the 




BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 


class fight against underfed, hollow-eyed, hungry, 
workless proletarians ? Yes, we call ourselves the 
Workers’ State. This is the first step. The first step away 
from the capitalist State. We call ourselves a Labour 
Party, because we want to set labour free, because to us 
creative labour is the progressive element in history, 
because labour means more to us than property, 
education, rank and bourgeois origin. That is why we 
call ourselves a Labour Party. . . . 

4 We call ourselves socialist, as a protest against the lie of 
capitalist social compassion. We want no compassion, 
we want no social outlook. We despise the rubbish which 
you call 4 social legislation.’ It is too little to live with 
and too much to die with. . . . We demand a full share of 
what heaven gave us and of what we create with our 
hands and our brains. That is socialism ! . . . We pro- 
test against the idea of the class struggle. Our whole 
movement is one great protest against the class struggle. 

. . . But at the same time we call things by their right 
names : if on one side 1 7 million proletarians see their 
only salvation in the class struggle, this is because, from 
the Right side, they have been taught this in practice 
for 60 years. How can we find any moral justification in 
fighting against the class struggle, unless the capitalist 
class State is first absolutely torn in shreds and abol- 
ished, through a new socialist organisation of the 
German people ? ” 


These words were written not so very long ago by the 
man who later became Reich Minister for Enlightenment 
and Propaganda. It is quite a different tone from that used 
in the 25 points, in which the word 44 socialism ” does not 
occur. Compare Goebbels’ demand for the tearing in 
shreds of the Capitalist class State with the officialorgan of 
the Nazi Party, which in point 25 says ; 

44 For the carrying through of the above (the whole pro-" 
gramme) we demand : The creation of a strong central 


THE PATH TO POWER 29 

power in the Reich. The absolute authority (If the cen- » 
tral political parliament over the whole Reich and gll 
its organisations. The formation of chambers of trades ^ 
and professions for the carrying through in the separate 
States of the Reich of the general measures laid down 
by the Reich. 35 

By the side of the policy as put forward by Goebbels, the 
Hitler programme of 1920 seenfs colourless, conventional, • 
philistine and liberal. Goebbels 9 manifesto against the* 

“ fat, well-fed capitalist 55 provides a Fascist programme * 
which is much more suitable for industrial ar&as than the 
^ * 25 points of Hitler. 

New Defeats in 1928. Nevertheless, neither Hitler with 
his lectures to the “ well-fed capitalists 95 of the RhinSland 
and the Ruhr, nor Strasser and Goebbels with their dema- 
gogy, could succeed in extending the mass influence of the 
National Socialist Party. It is true that a certain internal 
consolidation of the party took place during this period. 

The membership rose from 17,000 in 1926 to 40,000 in 
1927. Two Congresses were held : Weimar in 1926 and 
Niirnbergln 1927. The storm detachments were re-estab- 
lished. The party got rid of “ well-meaning, but for that 
reason all the more dangerous, fools 99 ; the “ racial 
specialist 99 Dinter in Thuringia was among those expelled. 
Moreover, in order to make the party presentable in 
drawing-rooms, the infamous murderer Heines was ex- 
* pelled ; although his bloody record did not prevent Hitler 
from taking him back again later and appointing him 
police president of Breslau and head of the storm detach- 
ments of the whole of North and East Germany. In May ** 
1928 the^ National Socialist Party again suffered a heavy * 
defeat at*the polls, securing only 12 seats in tfte Reichstag. 

The objective situation for the growth of the Fascist move- 
ment*had not yet developed. The years 1924 to 1927 had 
f brought a certain restoration of Germany’s economic life, 
and this had resulted in easier conditions for the middle 
•f 

1 



■» 



BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 


class generally and also for some sections of the working 
class. 


The Economic Crisis in Germany. The illusory economic 
prosperity however reached its zenith. Germany was the 
first European country to be affected by the developing 
world crisis. Production fell, and unemployment rose. In 
the winter of 1930 there were already over three million 
unemployed in Germany. The employers began a general 
r attack on wages. According to estimates made by the Berlin 
Finanzpoliiische Korrespondenz the average weekly wages of 
industrial workers fell as follows : in the summer of 1929, 
they were 44.60 Reichsmarks ; in March 1930, 39.05 Rm. 
The average weekly wage throughout the year, which in 
1928 and 1929 was 42 and 45 marks, fell to 37 marks in 
1930* and 30 marks in 1931. Under the Papen-Schleicher 
Government the average weekly wage was reduced to fifty 
per cent of what it had been in 192S and 1929 : it fell to 
20.80 marks in August 1932, and since then it has fallen 
still further. The Finanzpoliiische Korrespondenz estimates the 
total wage reductions of workers and employees in Ger- 
many, from July 1929 to July 1932, at approximately 
38,000,000,000 marks (at par, about £1,900,0^0,000) . 

Together with the wage and salary reductions there was 
also a tremendous rise in unemployment. According to the 
official figures of the Reich Ministry of Labour, unemploy- 
ment rose to over six million. The official Trade Research 
Institute however showed that these official figures were not 
comprehensive, as they covered only those workers who 
were reporting at the Labour Exchanges ; that in addition 
to the “ visible ” unemployed, there were also many 
<s invisible/ 5 On the basis of the Health Insurance statistics, 
which cover ail employed persons, the “ invisible 99 unem- 
ployment amounted to approximately two millions. While 
therefore the Ministry of Labour figures showed close on 
six million unemployed in the winter of 1931-32, and five 
million in the summer of 1932, the Institute estimated the 
figures at eight million in the winter of 1931-32, and over 


T H*E PATH TO POWER 31 

« seven million in the third quarter of 1932 — the best season. 

But even these figures did not accurately reflect the position. 

They did not include the hundreds of thousands of persons * 
who had been unemployed for several years and were 
walking the streets of the towns as beggars or wandering 
through Germany as tramps ; nor did they include the 
destitute children and the young unemployed who could 
find no work when they left school. They did not include 
the hundreds of thousands of small merchants and trades- % 
people, of people who had formerly been “ independent ” 
and professional people, who were living on the verge of * 
starvation and were in fact unemployed. The real number 
, of unemployed at the end of 1932 must be put *at some- 
v where round about nine million. 

The position of the middle class was increasingly getting 
worse. The specific weight of this section of the population 
in Germany is considerable. According to a statistical 
enquiry made by Theodor Geiger (“ Die soziale Schichtung 
des deutschen Volkes,” Stuttgart, 1932), the percentage 
proportion of the various classes in the total number of 
occupied persons is : Capitalists, 0.84 per cent ; “ old 
middle class ” (small proprietors) 18.33 P er cenfc l “ new 
middle cla§s ” (officials, employees, etc.) 16.04 P er cent ; 

“ proletaroids ” (workers on own account, small traders, 
etc.) 13.76 per cent ; proletariat, 51.03 per cent. The pro- 
portion of the proletariat may be put too high, but the 
general distribution is probably correct. 

The crisis brought wide sections of the middle class down 
f ndo the proletariat. The number of bankruptcies rose. 

Compulsory sales became more and more frequent. The 
small tradespeople of the towns and the small peasants were % 

particularly severely hit. And the crisis hit sections of ***% 

people who had hitherto not been affected, and whose * * 

position b&d improved during the preceding period of rela- 
tive stabilisation. Unemployment began to creep into the 
most ^privileged sections of intellectual workers. The 
f standard of living of teachers, engineers, doctors, lawyers, 
writers, artists, fell lower and lower. A quarter of the 

? ; 


32 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

university lecturers could find no posts. Of eight thousand 
graduates from the technical colleges and universities in 
1931-32, only 1,000 found employment in their professions ; 
1,500 continued their studies “ provisionally/’ suffering 
great privation ; 1,500 found temporary work as street- 
hawkers, waiters, etc. ; but 4,000 remained totally unem- 
ployed. An investigation undertaken by the Hartmann- 
bund, the officially recognised doctors’ association, showed 
that in 1932 seventy per Cent of the German medical pro- 
* fession were earning less than 170 marks a month (at par, 
£8 to s. o d.). The German legal association found that its 
members were in much the same position. According to a 
statement issued by the Prussian Minister of Education, of 
22,000 teachers who completed their training in the pre- 
vious year, only 990 found posts, and even these were only 
temporary and auxiliary teaching posts. And these figures 
cover Prussia only ! The number of unemployed engineers 
and chemists increased five times between April 1930 and 
April 1932, while unemployment among technical staffs 
doubled, and among all employees rose by times, during 
the same period. The position of those university lecturers 
who were still employed got worse from year to year, 
flours were lengthened. Salaries were rigorously cut. In 
addition, there was an increase in short time working : 
many industries worked only 3 to 5 days a week. 

The immense burden of reparations sharpened the crisis. 
The promises and iiopes of the Dawes Plan and the Locarno 
Treaty were not fulfilled. The Young Plan of 1929 made a 
new u regulation of debts ” which brought fresh opportuni- 
ties for the German capitalists to transfer the burden to the 
workers. A new wave of radicalisation passed through the 
workers. After the electoral success of the Social Democrats 
in May 1928 the working class began again to turn towards 
the Communist Party. Sections of the middle class which 
had hitherto been indifferent to politics now began to 
become active. The peasants were roused. In North Ger- 
many in 1929 they were in a state of revolt, resisting by 
force the bailiffs sent to rob them of their last cow. There 


* 

TI?E PATH TO POWER 


33 

were conflicts with the police. Then came one bomb attack 

after another. In Schleswig-Holstein attempts were made * ;j 

to blow up government offices, m ^ 

In 1928 a S£ great coalition ” government was formed, j 

reaching from the German People’s Party (the party of 1 

heavy Industry) to the Social Democrats. Hermann Muller, 
president of the Social Democratic party, became Chan- 
cellor. In addition to him there were three Social Democrats 
In the Government : Severing (Minister of the Interior), * 
Hilferding (Minister of Finance) and Winell (Minister of j 

Labour). Stresemarm, leader of the German People’s Party, % i 

became Foreign Minister, his friend Dr. Curtins Minister 
of Economics, and the Democrat Gessler (now Vl Fascist) 

Minister of the Reichswehr. It was under Muller’s Govern- ! 

ment that the Young Plan was put through. The chief ; 

delegate at the Paris Young Plan conference was Scbacht, 
president of the Reichsbank, who was removed from his 
post in 1930 and restored to it again in 1933 as a follower ; 

of Hitler. 

The Pruning Period. In December 1929 Hilferding was 
removed from the Government, and his place as Finance | 

Minister was taken by Professor Moldenhauer, a member 
of the board of control of the great German chemical trust, 
the I.G, Farbenindustrie. A few months later, in March 
1930, the Muller cabinet was replaced by the Br lining Gov- 
ernment. The Social Democratic Party was manoeuvred out 
of the Government. Nevertheless, the Briining-Groener- 
Stegerwald Government, which did not have a majority in 
the Reichstag, was willingly supported and “ tolerated ” 
by the Social Democrats. At the same time, this Government 
was already thinking of bringing in the National Socialists. 

In the Gereke trial in June 1933, the former Minister * * 
Treviramus explicitly stated that at that timeJBriining had 
the intention of bringing in the Nazis. The Social Democrats 
represented to the workers that the Pruning Government was 
a lesser evil ” than a government which was purely Fascist 
and capitalist. The Social Democratic Prussian Government 
Bt 

1 


34 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLffR TERROR 

of Braun and Severing firmly supported the Bruning Gov- 
ernment of the Reich. 

The period of “ democracy ,5 came to an end amid the 
difficulties which the economic crisis brought to Germany’s 
financial, industrial and agrarian capitalists. Bruning ruled 
Germany with Article 48 of the Weimar ^ Constitution, 
which in fact suspends the constitution. But it was not the 
first time that the rulers of the German republic had had 
to " correct ” a political 'development which was beginning 
to get dangerous, by the introduction of the state of siege 
‘and- the suspension of democratic rights. During the years 
1 91,9 to 1 923, when the Social Democrat Ebert was president 
of the Reich, Article 48 made it possible to prohibit strikes 
in so-called vital industries, to organise strike-breaking 
corps for technical assistance in emergencies, to send the 
Reichswehr to Saxony and Thuringia in 1923 “ to restore 
constitutional conditions,” and to appoint General von 
Seeckt as military dictator for the prohibition of the German 
Communist Party. Zorgiebel, the Social Democratic police 
president of Berlin and a former trade union leader, pro- 
hibited the working-class demonstrations of May 1st, 1929, 
and when the workers broke through his prohibition and 
demonstrated, he sent police against them, killing 33 
Berlin workers. A few days later Severing prohibited the 
Red Front organisation, which was the anti-Fascist defence 
organisation of the revolutionary workers, while in Prussia 
the Nazis were allowed to continue legally building up 
their fighting organisations. 

The Reichstag was side-tracked by Bruning. The Social 
Democrats gave their consent to this, and Bruning ruled with 
emergency decrees 011 the basis of Article 48 of the constitu- 
tion. He decreed the reduction of unemployment payments, 
the lowering of the miserable pensions of the victims of the 
war, of the ^ck, of old people, widows and orphans. He 
decreed new taxes on the masses ; the poll tax, the crisis 
tax, the bachelors tax. Pie decreed increases in import 
duties, and thereby increases in the price of food. He put am 
end to the rent protection legislation. Banks and industrial 


* 

Trf-XE PATH' TO POWER 


'* concerns received pillions in. subsidies. The $reat land- 

* ** lords were able to put themselves right at the expense oh 

their workers. They received millions out of the so-called 
aid for the east.” And the police presidents, of whom more ' 

* * than half were members of the Social Democratic Party, put 

down with intense severity the defensive movements of the 
workers, prohibited the Communist Press and forbade 
working-class demonstrations. 

Through this policy the Social Democrats not only actually 
helped forward the development of the reactionary and* 

Fascist forces in Germany, but also gave the National 
Socialists the pretext for their demagogic campaign against * 
the failure of the “ Marxist system.” The Social ^Democrats 
* tolerated the Pruning government, which increased the 
burdens of the workers until they became intolerable, and 
ruled by dictatorial methods, preparing the way for the 
summoning of the National Socialists to Government power. 

During this period the second revival of the National 
Socialist Party began. Together with Hugenberg. the 
spokesman of the reactionary wing of German heavy indus- 
try and of the landlords, and with the support of the Stahl- 
helm and other nationalist organisations, the National 
Socialist^ demanded a referendum against the Young 
Plan. It was conveniently forgotten that in 1925 Hugen- 
berg’s German National People’s Party had set aside one- 
half of their fraction in the Reichstag to help to secure the 
acceptance of the Dawes Plan. The gigantic propaganda 
apparatus of the Plugenberg concern, with its hundreds of 
newspapers and its telegraph agency, the Telegrafen 
Union (TU), was now at the sendee of the National 
Socialists. The referendum came to nothing, but the 
National Socialists could record definite successes in the ** n 
elections for the Diets of Saxony and Thuringia and in the ^ * 
Prussia# local elections. 

In 1930 Frick became Minister of the Interior and of 
Education in Thuringia — the first National Socialist Min- 
i % ister in Germany. In Thuringia they joined a coalition with 
all the parties of the Right including the German People’s 


» 


1 



36 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLBflfc TERROR 

Party, whi<*h at that time was in the Refeh coalition with the 
Social Democrats. Only a year earlier Gcebbels, in his 
Smfltll ABC of National Socialism , had called the German 
People’s Party a representative of the interests of big 
capital. 

Hitler Shows his True Colours. One section of tlm 
“socialists” in the Nazi Party, under the leadership of 
.Otto Strasser, considered that they could no longer follow 
the legal tactics then used, and in May 1930 left the Party 
under the slogan : “ The Socialists leave the National 
Socialist Party.” Before this Strasser had a long discussion 
with Hitler, who told him : 

“ The great mass of the workers wants nothing more than 
brgad and circuses. It has no comprehension of any 
ideals, and we shall never be able to count on ideals 
to win the workers in large numbers. We want a selec- 
tion from the new master class {!), who are not guided 
as you are by a morality of sympathy.” 

Strasser asked Hitler : “ If you took power to-morrow, 
what would you do the day after, for example* with the 
Krupp concern ? Will everything remain just as it is now for 
the shareholders and the workers in regard to ownership, 
profits and management ? ” Hitler replied : 

“ But of course. Do you imagine I am so crazy as to 
destroy trade? The State would only step in when 
people were not acting in the interests of the nation. But 
for this no expropriation is necessary, nor any joint 
share in control, but the power of the strong State, 
which alone is in the position to let itself be governed 
entirely b^ wide viewpoints without consideration of 
individuals. . . „ The expression socialism is in itself bad, 
but above ail it does not mean that these concerns 
be socialised, but only that they can be socialised, if they *' » 

conflict with the interests of the nation. So long as they 


Ti?E PATH TO POWER 37 

do not do this, if would be simply a crime t$> interfere * 
with trade. ... In this connection we have a precedent, 
which we can adopt without further question, namely, 
Italian Fascism ! Just as the Fascists have already put 
this into effect, in our National Socialist State also 
employers and workers will stand alongside each other 
with equal rights, while the decision in disputes is left 
to the State, which takes care that economic struggles 
do not endanger the life of the nation. 35 i 

With this guarantee to the capitalist economic systerfi 
Hitler once again recommended himself to the ruling groups 
of German finance capital. He showed them that* as in the 
case of the Italian Fascist programme, so the nationalist; 
economic programme only aimed at guaranteeing the re- 
consolidation of capitalism. He has kept the promises which 
he then gave. 

The Reichstag elections of September 1930 gave the 
National Socialists their first great electoral success. They 
secured 6,400,000 votes and 107 seats, becoming the 
second strongest party, after the Social Democrats. The 
Communists won 600,000 votes. The German Nationalist 
Party lost half their seats, the German People's Party one- 
third. The National Socialists owed their success to prop- 
aganda aimed at winning the radicalised middle-class 
elements. This propaganda offered unlimited promises to 
all sections, and it was conducted with gigantic resources 
supplied by capitalist donors. The Nazis promised the 
workers higher wages, the employers higher profits, the 
tenants lower rents, the house-owners higher rents, the 
peasants higher prices, the middle class cheaper food. But 
they did not succeed in effecting any real penetration of the 
working class. They merely attracted large sections of 
former voters for the capitalist parties. * 

Should Hitler be Chancellor of the Reich? Pruning 
dbntinued in office, and issued new emergency decrees. 
The Social Democrats supported him in carrying through 


38 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

this policf. And with the growth of (he National Socialist 
Party the question of openly calling it to power became 
more and more frequently raised. 

In April 1932 Hindenburg was elected a second time as 
President of the Reich, with’" the votes of the Social Demo- 
crats, who issued the slogan : £t A vote for Hindenburg is a 
blow at Hitler ! 99 In May 1932, at the instigation of the 
East Prussian Junkers, Chancellor Bruning was overthrown, 
and a Papen-Schleicher Government took his place. 

The new government started to bring in even more 
Severe dictatorial measures. On July 20th, 1932, Papen was 
appointed Reich Commissioner for Prussia. A captain with 
three soldiers of the Reichswehr sufficed to break the 
i£ resistance 59 of the Social Democratic ministers of Prussia. 
For a short; time martial law was in force in the Berlin- 
Brandenburg area. The Social Democrat leaders offered no 
resistance, although they still had under their control the 
whole of the police in Prussia and in several of the other 
States of the Reich, and although the Social Democrat police 
officers were urging armed resistance. On the contrary, the 
Social Democrat leaders denounced the Communists, who 
were calling on the workers for a general strike, as “ pro- 
vocators.” They weakened the working-class forces, and 
abandoned their positions, in order to be able, as they 
thought, to save at least something from the wreck. And so 
the Prussian " home of democracy 55 fell into the hands of 
the reactionaries without a struggle. 

In August 1932, after a second electoral success for the 
Nazis (13! million votes and 225 seats in the Reichstag), 
the appointment of Hitler as Chancellor began to be dis- 
cussed, Hindenburg still hesitated. But the demand for 
Hitler's appointment grew more insistent. The Deutsche 
Fuhrerhrufe, a private bulletin of the Union of German In- 
dustry, published an article which disclosed the® plans of 
the dominant capitalist groups, under the title <e The social 
re-consolidation of capitalism." It contained the following 
passages: 


39 


* 

t3e path to power 


“ The problem of*consolidating the capitalist^regime in ^ 
post-war Germany is governed by the fact that the 
leading section, that is, the capitalists controlling Indus- > 
try, has become too small to maintain its rule alone. 
Unless recourse is to be had to the extremely dangerous 
weapon of purely military force, it is necessary for it 
to link itself with sections which do not belong to 
it from a social standpoint, but which can render it 
the essential service of anchoring its rule among the * 
people, and thereby becoming its special or last de-^ 
fender. This last or 4 outermost ’ defender of bourgeois 
rule, in the first period after the war,* was Social 
Democracy. 

u . National Socialism has to succeed Social Democracy in 
providing a mass support for capitalist rule in Germany. 

, . . Social Democracy had a special qualification for 
this task, which up to the present National Socialism 
lacks. . . . Thank? to its character as the original party 
of the workers, Social Democracy, in addition to its 
purely political force, also had the much more valuable 
and permanent advantage of control over organised 
labour, and by paralysing its revolutionary energies 
chained it firmly to the capitalist State. , . . 

“ In the first period of re-consolidation of the capitalist 
regime after the war, the working class was divided by 
the wages victories and social-political measures through 
which the Social Democrats canalised the revolutionary 
movement. . . . The deflection of the revolution into 
social-political measures corresponded with the trans- 
ference of the struggle from the factories and the streets 
into Parliament and Cabinets, that is, with the trans- 
formation of the struggle c from below 5 into concessions 
4 from above . 5 

“From then onwards, therefore, the Social Democratic 
and trade union bureaucracy, and with them also the 
suction of the workers whom they led, were closely tied 
* to the capitalist State and participation in its adminis- 
tration — at least so long as there was anything left of 




% 


4-0 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITL&R TERROR 

their post-war victories to defend by these means, and 

so long as the workers followed their leadership, 
r ' 

<e This analysis leads to four important conclusions : 

1 . The policy of 4 the lesser evil * is not merely tactical, 
it; is the political essence of Social Democracy. 

2. The cords which bind the trade union bureaucracy 
to the State method “ from above are more compel- 
ling than those which bind them to Marxism, and there- 
fore to Social Democracy ; and this holds in relation to 

r * the bourgeois State which wants to draw in this bureau- 
cracy. 

3. The links between the trade union bureaucracy and 
Social Democracy stand or fall, from a political stand- 
point, with parliamentarism. 

4^ The possibility of a Liberal social policy for monopoly 
capitalism is conditioned by the existence of an auto- 
matic mechanism for the creatioii of divisions in the 
working class. A capitalist regime which adopts a Liberal 
social policy must not only be entirely parliamentary, 
it must also be based on Social Democracy and must 
allow Social Democracy to have sufficient gains to re- 
cord ; a capitalist regime which puts an end to these 
gains must also sacrifice parliamentarism and Social 
Democracy, must create a substitute for Social Democracy 
and pass over to a social policy of constraint. 

“ The process of this transition, in which we are at the 
moment, for the reason that the economic crisis has 
perforce blotted out the gains referred to, has to pass 
through the acutely dangerous stage, when, with the 
wiping out of these gains, the mechanism for the creation 
of divisions in the working class which depended on them 
also ceases to function, the working class moves in the 
direction <of Communism, and the capitalist «rule ap- 
proaches the emergency stage of military dictatorship. 
. . . The only safeguard from this acute stage is if the 
division and holding back of the working class, which 
the former mechanism can no longer adequately 


t 3 e path to power 41 

maintain, is cartied out by other and iBDre direct 
methods. In this lie the positive opportunities and tasks 
of National Socialism, ... 

“ If National Socialism succeeds in bringing the trade 
unions into a social policy of constraint, as Social Democ- 
racy formerly succeeded in bringing them into a Liberal |j 

policy, then National Socialism would become the 
bearer of one of the functions essential to the future of 
capitalist rule, and must necessarily find its place in the , 

State and social system. The danger of a State capitalist 
or even socialistic development, which is often urged 
against such an incorporation of the trade unions under 
National Socialist leadership, will in fact be avoided 
precisely by these means. . . . There is no third course 
between a re-consolidation of capitalist rule and the 
Communist revolution. 5 ’ n 

These paragraphs %ive the key to an understanding of 
the political situation. 

The Papen-Schleicher Period. The Papen-Schleicher 
Government was a further stage on the road to a Hitler 
dictatorship. Its emergency decrees were models for Hitler 
to follow : the death penalty for high treason ; the death 
penalty for “ political acts of violence ” ; the establishment 
of emergency courts which imposed long sentences of 
imprisonment for minor 44 offences. 55 But this Government 
of big capitalists, Junkers and generals had no mass follow- 
ing. The Stahlhelm and the German National People’s 
Party were entirely inadequate. Papen’s much advertised 
economic programme of September 1932 laid new burdens 
on the workers and gave new millions to the rich. Powerful 
anti-Fascist demonstrations under the leadership of the % 
Communist Party, which was carrying on the* only serious 
extra-parliamentary fight against Fascism, were broken up. 

Thest reached their highest point in the Berlin traffic strike 
November 1932, which demonstrated the helplessness of 
the Government in face of the determination of the workers. 


% 


42 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITlEr TERROR 

At this* period, too, National Socialism was passing 

* through a serious crisis. In the November elections it lost 
alfnost two million votes. The total vote for the Communist 
Party reached six millions. 

At: the end of November Papen fell, and Schleicher suc- 
ceeded him early in December. Behind the scenes negotia- 
tions were carried on, in one direction with the trade unions 
and also with a view to the drawing in of .Hitler. No govern™ 

# merit can sit on bayonets. Schleicher hesitated, did nothing, 
and merely modified some of Papen’s emergency decrees. 

*©n January 22nd the National Socialists staged a pro- 
vocative demonstration in front of the Communist Party 
headquarters, the Karl Liebknecht House. General 
Schleicher sent the whole police force to protect the Nazis 
from the workers’ counter-demonstrations. 

The situation grew more and more acute. General 
Schleicher was considering the immediate proclamation of 
a military dictatorship. Papen workdl against Schleicher’s 
plan by negotiating with Hitler and Hugenberg. At last 
the ruling groups of Germany, as the Deutsche Allgemeine 
Z^itung put it, tried a leap in the dark. On January 30th, 
1933, Hindenburg, the candidate for the presidency who 
had been supported by the Social Democrats, < appointed 
Hitler Chancellor of the German Reich. 




Chapter II: “ THE REICHSTAG IS > 
IN FLAMES!” 

M onths of intrigue in President Hindenburg’s palace 
had preceded the fall of General Schleicher. Papen’s 
u cranking-up ” of industry bad come to nothing. The* 
economic difficulties were increasing. At every step Schlei- 
cher stumbled up against obstacles which were created for 
him through the influence wielded by his» predecessor, 
Papen, over President Hindenburg. From the fhoment of 
his own resignation Papen was working systematically for 
the overthrow of his opponent Schleicher. 

Round Hindenburg there was a number of more *or less 
definite groups lighting each other. But they were not fight- 
ing over personal 'antipathies or sympathies, but over 
. partial interests of sections of the ruling class, the separate 
interests of politically influential groups. 

General Kurt von Schleicher had risen from the Reich- 
swehr to the position of Chancellor of the German Reich. 
The mail who announced, in his wireless broadcast fol- 
lowing his appointment as Chancellor, that he was a 
“ social general,” had for fourteen years had his hand in 
the political pie whenever it was necessary to push the 
political development of the Weimar Republic one step 
further in the direction of reaction. Schleicher first appeared 
in November 1918 as the connecting link between the 
General Staff of the army and the Social Democratic 
people’s delegates in the beating down of the revolution. 
The name of the young captain attached to the General 
Staff appeared in those days linked with the names of 
Hindenburg, Groener arid Ebert, fie had considerable in- 
fluence in the newly-created Reichswehr. In October 
1925 he put through the <c state of emergency,” when 
% Ebert handed over all executive power to the Reichsw r ehr 
General von Seeckt in order to meet the revolutionary 



r 

44 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

r menace wfcich resulted from the misei*y of inflation. Since 
his youth Schleicher had been in close communication with 
r Hindenburg and his son, Colonel Oskar von Hindenburg, 
through his service in the Third Guards Regiment and on 
the General Staff. Schleicher succeeded in becoming a 
personal informant of Hindenburg. He had the strings in 
his hands when, in March 1930, Hindenburg threw the 
Social Democratic Chancellor, Hermann, and with him 
* Social Democracy, out of the Government. Schleicher 
arranged Bruning’s fall, when the controlling groups of 
German capitalism were tending more and more towards 
the summoning of the National Socialists to power. 
Schleicher himself took Groener’s place as Minister of the 
Reichswchr. 

Even when Papen was Chancellor, Schleicher had 
already begun to fill the most important posts in the 
government apparatus with his own reliable men. It was 
Schleicher who turned the scale when Papen’s Govern- 
ment was rocking, and induced the majority of Ministers 
to deliver the ultimatum that Papen must go. Schleicher 
had to come more and more into the open. But it was 
easier to manoeuvre on the smooth parquet floors of the 
government offices than to cany out a policy on the 
precipitous ground of the deepening economic crisis. His 
short term of office ran out without a programme, without 
a policy, with nothing but vague hints at all kinds of plans. 
His Government was only to serve the most powerful 
capitalist groups of Germany as a bridge to the Fascist 
attack on the growing revolutionary movement among 
the workers. 

In the group closely associated with Hindenburg there 
was in the first place his son and personal adjutant, Colonel 
Oskar vori Hindenburg. His Secretary of State was Dr. 
Meissner, who had filled the same position undef Ebert. 
Von Papen too, after his term as Chancellor, was in 
Hindenburg’s confidential circle. Papen had special -sup- 
port in the Herrenklub , a very influential association" 
of politicians, bankers, big employers and big landowners, 


“ THE REFICHSTAG IS IN FLAMES !” 45 ‘ 1 

high civil servants mnd officers. Papen had connections J 

* with the National Socialists, with Hitler and Goering, with ' J t 

the Stahlhelm and with the German Nationalist Party ^ ^ 

under Hugenberg. A few weeks after his fall from office 

+ Papen met Hitler in Cologne, at the house of Schroder, 

the banker. Hitler, who on November 7th had issued a ) 

manifesto calling for a fight “ to the last breath 55 against 
Papen, in the banker’s drawing-room, agreed to the con- 
fidential proposals put forward *by Papen. From Cologne ^ 

Papen went to Dortmund, to conduct secret negotiations 
with Springorum and other representatives of Rhenish* * 
Westphalian heavy industry on the question ofihe Govern- 
ment. 

Schleicher, too, had close relations with the National 
Socialists, especially with their “ socialist ” wing led by 
Gregor Strasser. Schleicher attempted to exploit fo£ his 
purposes the crisis in the National Socialist Party which 
was marked by the loss of two million voters in the elections 
of November 6th. He had links with the Social Democrat 
Leipart, president of the German Trade Union General |j 

Council, with the Christian Trade Unions and with the 
German Nationalist Commercial Employees Association. 

He tried to create some kind of trade union mass basis 
for himself through these “ cross- threads ” from the trade 
unions under Social Democratic leadership to the “ socia- 
list” wing of the National Socialists. At the same time, 

Schleicher presented the Junkers with millions and millions 
for “ relief” 

w Confidential agents carried on negotiations between 
these groups. Every day new coalitions were being formed 
and dissolved. Every day the situation changed. News- 
papers changed their owners, and their editors changed 
their political views. A struggle raged for the control of the ^ * * 

Liberal papers of the Ullstein and Rudolf Mq$se concerns. 

The Tdgliche Rundschau , once Stresemann’s organ, became 
Schlqcher’s mouthpiece. There was talk of money which 
had found its way to the paper from the well-filled chests of 
the Reichswehr. A new editor was appointed ; Hans 


46 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

Zehrer, leader of the so-called “ Action Group 59 and \ 
editor of its journal Action , which carried on a special sort * 
of Fascist propaganda with pseudo-revolutionary slogans. 
Papen tried to secure control of the Berliner Tageblatt The 
export industries, the big shipping companies and the ... 
Reich Railways (Siemens) had as their organ the Deutsche ■ 
Allgemeine Zdtung, which they had been subsidising for a 
considerable time. 

During those weeks Schleicher also had the backing of 
Herr Krupp von Bohlen and Halbach and Privy Councillor 
# puisberg of the LG. Farben-Industrie, the chemical com- 
bine ; these. were the leading figures in the Reich Union 
of German industry. Papen had close connections with 
Springorum and Thyssen, Hugenberg and the big agrarian 1 
interests. All groups were agreed that the National Socia- 
lists would have to be drawn in as the political prop for a 
government of capitalist dictatorship. But there were j 
differences of opinion as to the form and extent of their j 
participation in the Government. The intrigues in Hinden- 
burg’s palace reflected these differences. 

The East Prussian relief scandal. Towards the end of ' 
January 1933, Schleicher felt that his Government was 
being more and more undermined by the intrigues of 
Papen and the big agrarian interests associated with him. 
He felt, too, that he was being pushed out of the circle of 
Hindenburg’s confidential advisers. He therefore decided to 
have recourse to a defensive manoeuvre which he had been j 
contemplating for some time, and an immense mass of mat- 
erial appeared in the papers, exposing the Osthilfe corrup- I 
tion of the big agrarian Junkers. A commission of enquiry 
was set up by the Reichstag. The working masses were 
roused to fury. The scandal threatened to involve even 
Hindenburg^himself. f j 

As far back as the time when Hermann Muller was 
Chancellor the Junkers had received millions through the 
so-called Osthilfe to put their bankrupt estates on to 
a paying basis. The small peasants had got practically 


c< THE R3ICHSTAG IS IN FLAMES ! 9 5 47 

i ■ 

1 nothing out of it ; the big landowners pocketed the lion's 

* .share. In the Reichstag Committee of Enquiry it was now " 
revealed 3 at the end of January, 1933, that in addition die 
rich landowners had received many hundreds of thousands 

•* of marks u to which they were not entitled. 95 An immensely 
rich owner of six manorial estates and a personal friend 
and neighbour of Hindenburg 5 s, had secured 621,000 marks 
by giving false particulars. Two Counts took 700,000 marks 
in this way. A certain landowner who had ruined his prop- , 
erty on gambling, wine and women, secured 281,000 marks. 
Two controllers of offices through which the Osthilfe was* 
distributed, paid off their own debts and pocketed tens 
of thousands in addition. A certain lord of the manor trans- 

* ferred his livestock to his wife, in order to secure 154,000 
marks of the Osthilfe . 

Day by day new names appeared in the list of thos$ who 
were involved in the Osthilfe scandal, including neigh- 
- hours of Hindenburg’s estate, people who had the run of 
his house. There was a great uneasiness in the Hindenburg 
family, for some of the Junkers involved in the scandal 
were among those who had organised the presentation 
of the Neudeck estate to Hindenburg on his eightieth 
birthday. *No gift- tax had been paid on this gift, and the 
estate had been registered not in Hindenburg 5 s name but 
in that of his son, so that the State was also robbed of the 
future succession duty. The Junkers and industrial magnates 
had twice collected funds for repairs and equipment for the 
; Neudeck property, and a third time for the purpose of 
putting it on a paying basis. The mud of the Osthilfe 
scandal spattered the walls of the President’s palace. 

The Junkers decided : Schleicher must go ! — as they had 
decided Before that Pruning must go. 

Hitler becomes Chancellor. On the ^morning of 
January 28th the Schleicher Government resigned, when 
Hindenburg refused to give authority for the dissolution of 
the Reichstag. Papen was instructed by Hindenburg to 
negotiate with Hitler for the formation of a Government 


» 



I * 

48 BROWN BOOK OF THE HXTLEfR TERROR 

J 

of 4 4 national concentration.” Two cfeys of unparalleled 

* tension followed. The Communist Party broadcast leaflets 
„ caFiing for a general strike against the imminent Hitler 

dictatorship. Schleicher negotiated with Leipart. The 
struggle behind the scenes grew more acute. On the night 
of January sgtb-^oth, Schleicher was toying with the idea 
of the immediate proclamation of a military dictatorship 
and the march of the Potsdam garrison on Berlin. It 

# seemed that a critical situation might develop at any 
moment. Then Hindenburg decided to appoint Hitler 
‘Chancellor, on conditions. And so it came about that the 
Hitler-PapeivHugenberg Government was formed on the 
morning of January 30th, 1933. 

In June 1932 the Papen-Schleicher Government had \ 
depended on National Socialist toleration. Goebbels later 
charged the representatives of the Herrenklub with having 
44 adroitly clambered to power over the broad backs 
of the Nazis,” In November 1932? the leader of the 
National Socialist fraction in the Prussian Diet, Wilhelm 
Kube, declared that the National Socialists would never 
march with the battle-cry of 44 With Hugenberg for the 
Stock Exchange and Capital ! ” But during the following 
months Papen had been preparing the National* Socialists 
to throw overboard their thundering declamations as 
superfluous ballast when Hindenburg gave them the call. 

The Chancellorship fell into Hitler’s lap, but not as the 
fruit of some heroic struggle. January 30th was not the 
culmination of a 44 national revolution ” which had con- 
quered power by a bold attack, Adolf Hitler was given the % 
post of Chancellor when the leading sections of the ruling 
class wanted not only to strengthen their power against the 
working class but also to smother the smell of the 
Qsthilfe scandal. • i 

On the evening of January 30th the storm troopers and ■ 
the Stahlhelm marched with flaming torches along the 
Wilhelmstrasse, cheering Hindenburg and Hitler. ^The 
storm troop men and the Stahlhelmers knew nothing of 
what had been going on behind the scenes, and when they 


\ 

“the Reichstag is in flames ! 35 49 

acclaimed et the day* of national awakening 33 tlHey did not 
know that corruption and the lust for profit were its' 
godparents. * 

The Wave of Resistance Rises. On January 30th, 1 933, 

the Communist Party made an official proposal to the 
Executive of the Social Democratic Party and to the 
General Council of the Trade Unions under Social Demo- 
cratic leadership and also the Christian Trade Unions, that , 
they should jointly organise a general strike for the over- 
throw of the Hitler Government. Social Democracy and' 
the Trade Unions answered : “ Hitler has come to power 
legally. 33 It was necessary to wait, they said, until he violated 
legality. No fight should be put up now. The general atti- 
tude of the Social Democratic Press was that Hitler would 
soon be finished with. * 

Considerable sections of the German workers accepted 
these statements. Th& Communist Party was unable as yet 
to bring the majority of the working class into action. 
The hastily formed Hitler Government would have been 
unable to cope with the united assault of the working 
class in those first days of February. The Nazi storm 
troops had just been passing through a severe crisis, and in 
some places had lost half their membership. The police 
apparatus could not yet be relied upon by the new Gov- 
ernment. It would also have had difficulties with Schlei- 
cher’s Reichswehr. But the refusal of the general strike 
gave the Hitler Government the time it needed. 

Nevertheless, the resistance of the workers was growing 
in Berlin, in Hamburg, in the Ruhr, in the Lower Rhine 
area, in Central Germany and in all parts of the Reich. 
The Hitler dictatorship was opposed by a working class 
whose fighting strength was as yet unbroken. On January 
22nd th(*y had refused to allow themselves to be provoked ; 
now a wide movement was developing for united action 
against the raging Fascist terror. Social Democratic, Chris- 
tian and Communist workers united to defend newspaper 
and trade union buildings. Hitler could prohibit papers. 



50 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

refuse to ailow demonstrations, and sand his storm troops 
’"into the working-class quarters-— but the working-class * 
. answer was the rise of a wide anti-Fascist movement in 
which all sections were united. 

The Need for a Provocative Act. Hitler had held power 
for some weeks, but the situation was far from favourable. 
The new Cabinet had dissolved the Reichstag and ordered 
# ncw elections. Papen’s terrorist decrees were again brought 
into force in sharpened form, and the Osthilfe scandal was 
buried in a secret commission. Hitler proclaimed on the 
wireless his non-existent “ Four Years Plan.” But the mil- 
lions of his voters who were looking forward to u German 
socialism 55 could not be put off merely with a couple of 1 
emergency decrees and vague promises. 

At jthe end of January Hitler had been compelled to 
enter the Government on the restricting conditions im- 
posed by Hindenburg. There were many reasons why he I 
was ready to compromise : the discontent among his 
members and supporters, crisis and numerous resignations 
from the National Socialist Party, besides the enormous ;■ 
debts of the Party. In bourgeois circles a number of former 
Nazi voters had already begun to show a tendency towards 
the German Nationalists. On November 6th, 1932, the 
Communists had won eleven seats in the Reichstag, while 
Hitler had lost thirty-five. In the new Government there 
were three National Socialist Ministers opposed by eight 
representatives of the German Nationalists and of the 
Stahlhelm, There could be no change in the Cabinet with- 
out Hindenburg’s consent. 1 

In view of the growing anti-Fascist feeling among the 
workers Hitler’s election prospects were not good. Hugen- 
berg and the German Nationalists held all the economic 
posts of vantage in the Cabinet, and masses of th$ people 
were beginning to realise that Hitler was carrying out the 
policy of the worst firebrands among the capitalists .The 
disillusionment of the masses would show itself in an in- 
creased Communist vote on March 5th. It had become 





liiii 


The Executioner of the “ Third Empire/’ 
Hermann Goering, Premier of Prussia. 


“ I would rather shoot a few times too short and too 
wide, but at any rate I would shoot.” 

(Goering at Essen, March nth, 1933) 


♦ 

52 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

an imperative necessity for the National Socialist leaders 
*to change the situation by an act of provocation planned 
on% grandiose scale. Then the elections could be carried 
out while the pogrom feeling against the Communists and 
Social Democrats was at its height. At the same time the 
position of the National Socialists within the Cabinet could 
be strengthened. 

Gocbbels provided the plans for the most outrageous of 
jx\l the acts of provocation # which a ruling class has ever 
used against the insurgent working class. Goering, president 
oL the Reichstag and commander of the Prussian police* 
was responsible for the exact fulfilment of the plan. The 
original plans of the National Socialist leaders* to bring all 
storm troopers to Berlin for the night of March 5th-6th, 
had been shattered by the threat of their allies to bring out 
the Rgichswehr against them ; but the new plan of provo- 
cation provided the means to satisfy the National Socialist 
demand for complete governmental *power and also to 
prepare the way for an unrestrained Nazi terror. 

The National Socialist leaders moved into action. The 
German Nationalist police president of Berlin, Dr. Melcher, 
was transferred to Magdeburg, and his place in Berlin 
was filled by the National Socialist retired Admiral von 
Levetzow. On February 24th the Karl Liebknecht House, 
the headquarters of the German Communist Party, was 
once again searched by the police. Although the Karl 
Liebknecht House had already been in the possession of 
the police for some weeks, and was only left by the police 
after a thorough search which produced no results, now 
suddenly u seriously incriminating 55 material was found. 
The day before the Reichstag fire gigantic headlines in the 
whole bourgeois Press told readers of the “ secrets 55 of Karl 
Liebknecht House, of “ subterranean passages, 55 “ treason- 
able material* 55 and “ plans for a Bolshevistic revolution. 55 
The Press also reported an alleged Communist bomb 
outrage on the railway in East Prussia (this outrage r was 
never mentioned again !) On January 25th there was 
small fire in the Berliner Schloss, which was announced 


“THE REICHSTAG IS IN FLAMES!” 


53 ; | 

sensationally as a “Communist act.” In this way public , 

opinion was carefully prepared, from paper to paper, froni ■ j )•* 

day to day, for the “ great coup” 

The Communist Party received reliable reports that the 
Government had planned an act of provocation. The 
deputy Wilhelm Pieck spoke of it in the Sportpalast in 
Berlin. He mentioned a Nazi plan for a faked attempt to 
assassinate Hitler or some other act of provocation which 
was to take place some days before election day and lead > 
to the prohibition of the Communist Party. The Com- , 
munist fraction in the Reichstag made a similar statement ^ 
at a conference of foreign Press representatives. 

The Hitler Press, following instructions, raised The cam- 
paign against the revolutionary workers to boiling point. 

Everyone who was following the political situation realised 
that a crisis was imminent. Everyone felt that c< there was 
something in the air. 55 Then, on the night of February 
27th~28th, all German wireless stations broadcast the 
message : “ The Reichstag is in flames 1 55 



Chapter III: VAN DER LUBBE, 
THE TOOL 


Mari nus van der Lubbe was born in Leyden on 
January 13th, 1909. His father owned a small shop, and also 
traded his wares through the neighbouring villages. At the 
* age of sixteen, after a short period as assistant in a shop, 
Marmus van der Lubbe became a worker in the building 
trade, whiclfhc had to leave after an accident which perman- 
ently injured iris eyesight. Shortly before this he joined the 
Leyden branch of the Young Communist League. He was 
always ambitious and seeking prominence, and in January 
1 gscfhe resigned from the Y ou ng Commu nist League because 
he was not appointed leader of the Pioneers, organisation. 
He rejoined, but in December 1929 again resigned, owing 
to a conflict with the Young Communist League in con- 
nection with leaflets which he wrote and distributed over 
his own signature. He joined the League again in 1930, but 
was distrusted and did not take any active part. In April 
1931 the question of his expulsion was raised, and van der 
Lubbe immediately resigned. From that date he had no 
connection whatever with the Young Communist League 
or Communist Party, but attacked the Communists when- 
ever he had the opportunity. 

Van der Lubbe’s Life. Marirrus van der Lubbe was five 
months in the Leyden Hospital after his accident. Pie could 
not go back to Ins trade, and tried to earn his living in 
various ways. In the winter of 1927-28 he worked as a 
temporary waiter in the Station restaurant in Leyden, 
and in the dimmer of 1928 he was a porter in the “ Van 
Plolland ” hotel at Nordweyk. After that, he did a little 
trading in potatoes on his own account, and then worked 
on a ferry transporting building materials between Norci- 
weyk and Sassenheim. 


van'der lubbe, the tool 55 

In the summer < 5 f 1930 he went to Calais, hind on his, 
return stated that he had worked as an excavator and had, 
also made some attempts to swim the channel. We have * 
made detailed enquiries in Calais, but can find no evidence 
that he ever made such an attempt. But the fact that he 
boasted of this on his return to Leyden is characteristic of 
his outlook. 

Enquiries into his life in Leyden have definitely estab- 
lished the fact that he was homosexual. This is of great* 
importance for his later history. 

His tour through Europe. Together with a friend of his, 
Holverda, he planned a “ Workers* Sports and Study Torn’ * 5 
through Europe, and had cards printed with his and 
Holverda’s photographs and the statement in four languages 
that they were undertaking a tour through Europe and the 
Soviet Union. Before they left there was a quarrel, and 
Holverda remained ?n Leyden. Actually, the postcards say 
that the tour was to begin on April 14th, 1931. We have in 
our possession one of these cards, dated from Potsdam April 
14/A, 1931. Not long after, van der Lubbe was back in 
Leyden. 

He makes Dr. Bell’s Acquaintance. When van der 
Lubbe returned from his first short visit to Germany he 
told his friends of a gentleman who had taken him on a long 
tour in his car. We do not know whether Lubbe’ s story was 
true, or whether he invented the gentleman from Leipzig. 
But we do know that on that first visit to Germany van der 
Lubbe made the acquaintance of a man who played a 
decisive part in Lubbe’s future life. 

In April or May 1931, Lubbe met Dr. Bell. We know this 
from a friend of Dr. Bell’s ; he writes : 

* 1 

“ If I remember rightly, it was in May 1931 that Bell 
told me he had made the acquaintance of a young 
* Dutch worker who had made a very good impression on 
him. He must have met him when he was out in his car 


I i 

56 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLE*R TERROR 

t near Berlin or Potsdam. They met'a hiker on the way, 
and gave him a lift in the car. He was a young Dutch 
* workman. This young Dutchman later visited Bell in 
Munich. Bell called him Renus or Rinus. He* had 
frequent meetings with him. 55 1 

Marinus van der Lubbe visits Munich. In September 
1931 van der Lubbe again started out for Germany. He 
• still had the postcards which he had had printed for his 
“ Tour through Europe,” and sold them on his way. At 
the frontier village of Gronau in Westphalia, in September 
1931, he was*arrested for selling cards in the street without 
a licence;* the court in Munster imposed a small fine. At 
Bacharach on the Rhine van der Lubbe got into conversa- 
tion with a motor cyclist ; he was also a Dutchman, Ploegk, 
a raikvay engine driver whose home was in the Hague, 
Bloemfontcenstr. 24. Ploegk gave Lubbe a lift in his side- 
car, and they put up overnight in Rdthenburg, Ploegk at 
the hotel and Lubbe at a youth hostel. Ploegk told our 
investigator of the conversation he had had with van der 
Lubbe, who in reply to the question what was he doing in 
Germany, said that he was looking for work. Ploegk then 
asked van der Lubbe whether he would not be much more 
likely to find work in Holland than in Germany, to which 
Lubbe replied with great assurance that he would get work 
in Germany. Ploegk recalls that he was surprised at van 
der Lubbe’s tone of assurance. 

From Rothenburg the two went on to Munich, parting 
on the outskirts of the town. We know that van der Lubbe * 
visited Dr. Bell in Munich. We do not know exactly how 
long he stayed there, but it must have been some days, as 
on his return to Leyden he gave his friends a detailed and 
accurate description of the town. He talked not only of the 
town, but also of the grand time he had had there, and of 
the many gentlemen whose acquaintance he had made 
there. 

The most important acquaintance made by van deT 
Lubbe in Munich was Captain Rohm. At that time Dr. 


n 1 

VAN bER LUBEE, THE TOOL 57 

Bell was still advised in foreign politics to Hitlers chief of 
staff, Rohm. He was a close friend of Rohm’s, so close, in 
fact, that Rohm gave him the confidential task of establish- 
ing connections with the Reichsbanner commander, Major 
Mayr. Rohm then felt that he was being persecuted by the 
National Socialist murder gang, and he tried to get pro- 
tection from Mayr through the intermediary Dr. Bell. All 
these facts were established in court in October 1932, when 
Captain Rohm brought an action against the Social Demo- 
cratic journal Miinchener Post 

Bell was not only adviser in foreign politics to Rohm ; he 
was also his confidant in personal matters. The Munchener 
Post and other papers in 1 932 published letters from Rohm 
to young men, from which it is clear that Rohm was 
homosexual. Dr. Bell knew many of RohnTs relations with 
young men, for the reason that he himself procured ^any 
of them for Rohm. Bell, who had intimate knowledge of the 
situation within the National Socialist Party, kept a list of 
these young men, intending to use it as a weapon against 
Rohm if any conflict developed with him. Van der Lubbe’ s 
name was on this list. 

A Voyage^of Adventure, After leaving Munich, van der 
Lubbe did actually carry out part of his “Tour through 
Europe.” We are in possession of a postcard written by him 
from Cracow. Our investigator in Holland saw a letter 
which he had written from Budapest and a card from 
Belgrade. 

When van der Lubbe returned to Leyden in January or 
February 1932, he had a great deal to tell his friends about 
his tour. One of these tales deserves to be told. Van der 
Lubbe said that he had been in Poland and had reached 
the frontier of the Soviet Union. A mighty river, he said, 
divides Poland from the Soviet Union ; he Jhad tried to 
swim this river, but was driven back by shots from the 
Polish frontier guards ; he was then arrested and kept a 
jfew days in a prison from which he could see the Soviet 
frontier across the river. Then he was sent about his business. 


1 




58 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

, Van der XJubbeY friends were greatly ‘astonished when our 
investigator informed them that there was no mighty river 
* between Poland and the Soviet Union. This tale again is 
characteristic of van der Lubbers boastfulness and desire 
for notoriety* 

The cards and letters which van der Lubbe had written 
to his friends in Leyden are proof that at the end of 1931 
and the beginning of 1932 he was in several towns in 
* Hungary, Poland and Jugoslavia. It is probable that he 
.was not alone, but in the company of some rich man. On 
Ms return to Leyden he said that a gentleman in Budapest 
had given him new shoes, that the Dutch consul in Jugo- 
slavia had given him his fare back, and other improbable 
things which suggest that he actually travelled with some 
rich friend. 

Dr? Bell introduced Lubbe not only to Captain Rohm, 
but to other National Socialists as well. From then on he was 
in regular communication with National Socialist circles. 
His friends in Leyden are unanimous in their statements that 
Lubbe received many letters from Germany, and that he 
always tried to conceal these letters from his friends. 

A Guest of the Nazis . V an der Lubbe 5 s returnTo Leyden 
in January or February 1932 was unexpectedly prompt. He 
sent a postcard from Berlin, and arrived at Leyden at the 
same time as the card. Pie must therefore have travelled 
by train or by car. The question of where the money came 
from remains open. 

After an interval of about two months van der Lubbe 
went on a third visit to Germany, But before that he 
achieved a little notoriety in Leyden, smashing some 
windows at the office of the relief organisation which had 
refused to increase his allowance. He was sentenced to three 
months imprisonment for this. Before going t<$ prison, 
however, he managed to pay another visit to Germany. We 
know that he went to Berlin and Saxony. On June isC and 
2nd he stayed the night at Sornewitz, where he was seen 
in company with the local councillor Sommer and also 


59 


1 

VAN DER LUBBE, THE TOOL 

* Schumann, who owned a vegetable garden, 11 Both are , 
National Socialists. After the Reichstag fire Councillor 
Sommer reported van der Lubbe’s visit in June 1932 to the 
Mayor of Rrockwitz. This fact was recorded in a protocol, 

* which was forwarded to the Saxon Ministry of the Interior, 
which notified Frick, Reich Minister of the Interior, of 
these facts. The facts became public as the result of an 
interpellation in the Saxon Diet by a Social Democratic 
deputy. They have not been denied by anyone. 

The papers which reported this interpellation also re-, 
ported that Councillor Sommer had disappeared a sholt 
time after he had made the report concerning van der 

^ Lubbe’s stay at Sornewitz. This statement too has not been 
contradicted. 

After his stay in Sornewitz van der Lubbe must have 
remained in Germany a few days longer. On his ret am to 
Holland he was arrested in Utrecht on June 21st, 1932. He 
was nine days in prison in Utrecht, and was then moved to 
the prison at S’Gravenhage (Hague) to carry out his three 
months sentence. 

Van der Lubbe attacks the Communist Party. Van der 
Lubbe wfis released from prison on October 2nd, 1932. He 

' came from the Hague to Leyden, and did not go out of the 
country again before the end of the year. He paid a visit to 
his father at Dordrecht, and then went on to Amsterdam 
and the Hague. In these towns he spoke at a number of 
meetings, his speeches vigorously attacking the Communist 

* Party. We have definite evidence of this. One document in 
our possession shows that van der Lubbe spoke at a Fascist 
meeting for the Fascists. 

| A second document describes van der Lubbe’s attitude at 

* a meeting of taxi-drivers who were on strike at the Hague. 
At this* meeting van der Lubbe not only* attacked the 
Communists but tried to incite the taxi-drivers to terrorist 
acts? 

* Van der Lubbe followed a consistent line since he finally 
left the Communist Party. From 1929 to 1931 he had been 


' f ' . r ■ , 

00 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

f trying to tod scope for his anarchist tendencies within the 
f Communist movement ; and when his connections with it 
, were finally broken in April 1931, he turned to attacking 
the movement. This attack became more and more vigor- 
ous at every meeting he addressed. The arguments which 
he was using during the last quarter of 1932 were clearly 
influenced by National Socialist propaganda. Lower 
middle class in origin, and only temporarily in the ranks of 
r the workers, he had returned to the fold. 

His Last Journey to Germany. In January 1 933, van der 
Lubbe was making preparations for another visit to Ger- 
many. Before he left he had to have treatment for his eyes 
again at the Leyden hospital, and he was four weeks in 
hospital. Shortly before his departure for Germany he 
visited Frau van Zijp, in whose house he had lodged. She 
told our investigator of her last talk with van der Lubbe, 
who told her that his passport had Very nearly run out. 
She asked him whether it was really necessary for him to go 
to Germany, and whether he would not do better to stay in 
Leyden. Van der Lubbe replied that she need not worry, 
he had something important to do in Germany, he would 
only need his passport for this occasion, and then it would 
not matter if it ran out. 

In the middle of February Marinus van der Lubbe left 
Leyden. Before his departure he had a new suit and new 
shoes. The Vossische geitung of March 2nd reported that he 
spent the night at Glindow, near Werder, on February 1 yth ; 
and that he went on to Berlin on February 18th. In 
Berlin he met the Nazi friends whose acquaintance he 
had made through Dr. Bell. 

Van der Lubbe, the Tool. On February 27th van der 
Lubbe was arrested in the burning Reichstag. The flames 
were the background of the hoax in which van der Lubbe 
for a few hours played the leading role. Then he passed 
from the stage. The searchlights of truth have pierced the' 
fog of deception and mercilessly shown up Goering and 




f 

62 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLSR TERROR 

Goebbdsf who made use of van der* Lubbe as their tool. 
Why did the murderer Heines and his associates, who had 
b%en entrusted by Goering and Goebbels with the technical 
carrying out of the incendiary act, choose van der Lubbe 
as the tool ? 

Van der Lubbe had been in the Communist movement in 
Holland up to April 1931. The men who were carrying out 
the orders issued by Goering and Goebbels believed that 
this was enough to make it possible to put the guilt for the 
incendiary act in the Reichstag on to die shoulders of the 
* Communists. 

Van der Lubbe’s homosexual connections with National 
Socialist leaders and his material dependence on them made 
him obedient and willing to carry out the incendiary’s part. 

Van der Lubbe’s Dutch nationality was a further advant- 
age. # It enabled Goering and Goebbels to represent the 
burning of the Reichstag as an international plot. 

For all these reasons van der Lubbe was chosen as the 
tool to cany out the incendiary act. 

The leading figures in the plot were : 

Dr. Goebbels : concocted the plot for setting fire to the 
Reichstag, also the fanatical lies and provocation. 

Captain Goering ; a drug fiend, directed operations. 

Edmund Heines : a murderer, was entrusted with the 
leadership of the incendiary group. 

Marinus van der Lubbe : the tool. 

When the Chicago police in 1B86 staged a bomb explosion 
carried out by paid provocators — an explosion which killed 
a large number of the police — it was seven years before the 
act of provocation was established. The tools had been well 
chosen. After the burning of the Reichstag it took only 
three days to make the whole world certain that the 
National Socialists had set fire to the Reichstag. The tool 
van der LuJ>be was too ill-chosen. ^ 





1 


Chapter IV: THE REAL INCEN- 
DIARIES 

The German Reichstag. The foundation stone of the 
German Reichstag was iaid by Wilhelm I on June 9th, 
1884; the building was completed in December 1894. 

The German Reichstag building is in the Koenigsplatz, 
opposite the Bismarck memorial. The east front faces th« 
Friedrich Ebertstrasse, the south front overlooks the 
Tiergarten, across the Simsonstrasse, while the north front 
overlooks the Spree, 

The building consists of cellars, a ground floor, a main 
floor, an intermediate floor and two upper floors. The ^ront 
of the building is 137 metres long. It is crowned by a large 
dome, round which are four smaller cupolas. The central 
feature of the main floor is the session hall in which the 
Reichstag met. The walls of the chamber are panelled in 
wood, except for the side behind the President’s chair, which 
is stone. The dais, the tribunes and the deputies 5 seats are 
of wood. The seats are arranged in the form of an amphi- 
theatre in seven sections, divided by narrow, thickly 
carpeted gangways. There is a corridor running round the 
hall which leads into the lobby. The corridors and the hall 
are furnished with carpets, upholstered seats and heavy 
curtains. 

In the main floor there are also numerous rooms and 
halls with windows looking out over the streets. The reading 
room, the archives and the library are partly on the main 
floor, and partly in the intermediate floor. The heating and 
ventilating apparatus is in the cellars. A small flight of 
stairs leads from the cellar to a subterranean passage, 
which leads out under the portico of the Reichstag and 
under; the Friedrich Eberts trasse. A door shuts off this 
subterranean passage from the stairs and also from the 
other rooms containing the ventilation apparatus. Hot 





1 


64 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

pipes run*along the wails of the passage. The main en- 
trance to the Reichstag opens on the Koenigsplatz, but this 
entrance is only used on special occasions. 

How does a visitor get access to the Reichstag ? In 
all its reports on the burning of the Reichstag, the Hitler 
Government gave no indication of how the incendiaries 
got into the Reichstag. They relied on the fact that prac- 
tically no German or foreigner knows the formalities which 
. have to be gone through in order to enter the Reichstag. 
The following shows what a visitor to the Reichstag has to 
do in order 1;o get in. 

1. Non-members and visitors can only enter the Reichstag 
through door 2 or door 5. Door 2 opens on to the Simson- 
strasse, door 5 on to the Reichstagsufer. 

2. Anyone entering the Reichstag through door 5 comes 
into a lobby across which there is^a rope barrier. The 
officials stand behind this barrier. 

3. Each visitor has to apply to one of the officials. It is 
impossible to get into the Reichstag without giving par- 
ticulars to an official. Each visitor has to fill in a printed 
card with the name of the visitor, the name of the 
member whom he wishes to see, and the reason for the 
visit. 

4. This card is then taken by a messenger to the member 
concerned. The member is asked whether he is willing to 
see the visitor. 

5. While the messenger is looking for the member, the 
visitor has to wait in the waiting room. He is all the time 
under observation by the officials on duty. 

6. If the member agrees to see the visitor, the latter is. 
then brought to him by a messenger. The messenger con- 
ducts the visitor personally to the member and only leaves 
when the visitor is with the member. 

7. All visitors are listed in a special register, which b. 
made up from the cards already mentioned. 





66 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

The Fire in the Reichstag. Betwefen 9 and 9.15 in the 
evening of February 27th, 1933, fire broke out in the 
Reichstag building. The first public announcement of the 
burning of the Reichstag was made that evening by wireless. 
The Berlin broadcasting station also announced that the 
incendiary was a Dutch Communist named Van der Lubbe. 
He was said to have made a full confession, and to have 
been caught in the building, dressed only in a pair of 
trousers, when the police ©fficials came to the Reichstag. 
It was stated that he had a Dutch passport on him and also 
a*membership book of the Dutch Communist Party. Early 
the following morning the official Preussische Pressedknst 
circulated" the following account of the fire : 

46 On Monday evening fire broke out in the German 
Reichstag. The Reich Commissioner for the Prussian 
Ministry of the Interior, Minister Goering, immediately 
on his arrival took over the direction of all operations. 
As soon as the fire had become known, Chancellor Adolf 
Hitler and Vice-Chancellor von Papen also came to the 
Reichstag. 

“ This is undoubtedly the most serious act 0 of incen- 
diarism as yet experienced in Germany. The police 
investigation has shown that the fire was started at a 
number of points all over the Reichstag building from 
the cellar to the dome. Tar and torches were used, these 
being put; in leather chairs and among the documents 
of the Reichstag, also near doors, curtains, wood- 
panelling and at other easily inflammable spots. A police 
official saw persons with burning torches in the dark 
building. Fie fired at once. One of the criminals was 
caught. This is the 24-year-old bricklayer Van der 
Lubbe of JLeyden in Holland, who had on him^a Dutch 
passport, which was in order, and stated that he was a 
member of the Dutch Communist Party. 

4 4 The central portion of the Reichstag has been com-"' 
pletely burnt out, the sessions chamber with the 


1 

the Ileal incendiaries 


67 

tribunes and coiVidors have been destroyed. The 
damage runs into millions. 

“ This act of incendiarism is the most monstrous act of 
terrorism so far carried out by Bolshevism in Germany. 
Among the hundred centners of material which the 
police discovered in the search of the Karl Liebknecht 
house, there were instructions for the carrying through 
of the Communist terror on the Bolshevist model. 

“According to these instructions, Government build- 
ings, museums, mansions and essential plant were to be; ' 
burnt down. The directions also state that, in disturb- 
ances and conflicts with the police, women and-children 
should be sent in front of the terrorist groups, where 
possible the wives and children of police officials. The 
systematic carrying through of the Bolshevist revolution 
has been checked by the discovery of this material'. In 
spite of this the burning of the Reichstag was to be the 
signal for a bloody insurrection and civil war. Plans had 
been prepared for looting on a large scale in Berlin at 
4 a.m. on Tuesday. It has been ascertained that to-day 
was to have seen throughout Germany terrorist acts 
against .individual persons, against private property, 
and against the life and limb of the peaceful population, 
and also the beginning of general civil war. 

“ The Reich Commissioner of the Prussian Ministry of 
the Interior, Minister Goering, has taken the strongest 
measures to meet this terrible danger. He will maintain 
the authority of the State in all circumstances and with 
all the means at his disposal. It can be stated that the 
first attack of the criminal forces has been beaten back 
for the moment. Already on Monday evening, all public 
buildings and vital industries were placed under police 
protection to ensure public security. Special police cars 
are passing continuously through the parts of the town 
which are chiefly threatened. The whole of the police 
1 and criminal police in Prussia has immediately been 
put in a state of readiness. The auxiliary police have 






1 


68 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

been called up. Orders have beerf issued for the arrest 
of two leading Communist members of the Reichstag on 

* a charge of grave suspicion. The other Communist 
Party members of the Reichstag and officials have 
been put under protective arrest. Communist papers, 
periodicals, leaflets and posters have been pro- 
hibited throughout Prussia for four weeks. All Social 
Democratic newspapers have been prohibited for 14 
days, as the Reichstag incendiary in his confession 
admitted that he had connections with the Social Demo- 

* cratic Party. Through this confession the united Com- 
munist-Social Democratic front has become a palpable 
fact. This situation demands of the authorities respon- 
sible for security in Prussia decisive action to fulfil their 
duty of maintaining the authority of the State in this 
moment of danger. The latest events have fully estab- 
lished the necessity of the special measures which had 
already been introduced (auxiliary police, authority to 
the police to shoot, etc.). These measures equip the 
State power to nip in the bud any further attack on the 
peace of Germany and thereby on the peace of Europe. 
Minister Goering appeals for the strictest discipline 
from the German nation in this grave hour. He expects 
the unwavering support of the population, for whose 
security and safety he answers with his own person. 5 ’ 

The First Press Announcements. On the morning of Feb- 
ruary 28th millions of people read the account of the burn- 
ing of the Reichstag in their papers. The front pages shouted 
in great letters : “ The German Reichstag in flames.” This 
event overshadowed all other news. In London, Paris, 
New York, Amsterdam, Prague and Vienna the reader was 
furnished with long accounts of the burning of the Reichstag 
building. The reporters unanimously stated that" the hall 
had been completely burnt out, including the dome above 
it, the glass roof being shattered, and the struts bentr The 
corridors round the Reichstag chamber and the lobby were 
also destroyed. 


the'real incendiaries 69 

, , The Press of the wdrld, however, contained a huraber of 
divergent statements with regard to the further details. The 
Prager Tageblatt of February 28th stated that the fire was 
noticed at about 10 o’clock in the evening. The Temps of 
March 1st stated that the fire had been discovered at 
9.15 p.m. The London Times of February 28th reported 
that the fire had broken out at 9 p.m. 

The reports in the papers also gave different accounts of 
how the fire had been discovered. The Hugenberg news 
agency Telegrafen- Union stated in an announcement which 
was printed by a section of the press in the morning edition 
of February 28th : » 

q 44 It has been established beyond question that the fire 
was developed into a conflagration with the aid of 
torches placed at various points. A police official noticed 
through one of the windows a man carrying torches 
moving stealthily^and immediately fired at him,” 

The Temps of March 1st states on the other hand that the 
first warning of the fire was given by an employee of the 
Engineering Institute opposite the Reichstag. The number 
of points at which the fire started is estimated differently by 
the various papers. The Prager Tageblatt of February 28th 
speaks of 20 points, while the Berlin correspondent of The 
Times states in the issue of February 28th that the police 
officer on duty told him that the fire had started in 4 or 5 
places. The Chicago Tribune reports 10 points. The rapidity 
y with which the fire spread shows conclusively that it was 
! started at a number of points. 

The Pogrom against the Left begins. The fire in the 
■> Reichstag was still burning when police cars and motor- 
cyclists c2nd the Nazi Storm Detachments were already on 
their way. The first arrest was made immediately after 
midnight. By the morning, police headquarters were filled 
Mth hundreds of arrested persons, who sat on long benches 
in the corridors. Communists, Socialists, pacifists, writers, 






70 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

doctors sfnd lawyers had been tom from their beds in the r 
night and taken to police headquarters. Many of them, were 
already asleep when the wireless announcement of the fire 
was circulated. 

The noon papers gave the first names of the arrested 
persons. Among them there were the writers Ludwig Renn, 
Egon Erwin Kisch, Erich Baron, Carl von Ossietzky and 
Otto Lehman-Russbild t ; the doctors Boenheim, Schminke 
and Hod aim ; the lawyers* Apfel, Litten, Barbach and Felix 
Halle ; the Communist members of the Reichstag Walter 
" Stoecker, Ernst Schneider, Fritz Emmerich, Ottoman 
Geschke and Willi Caspar. The Reichstag member Torgler, 
who was' accused of being jointly responsible for the burning 
of the Reichstag, on the morning of February 28th went to 
police headquarters to make a protest against the charge. 
He *was arrested. The Communist and Social Democratic 
Press did not appear on the morning of February 28th. The 
printing works of the Vorwaerts and £>f the papers Berlin am 
Morgen and Welt am Abend were occupied during the night 
of the 27th, and the copies of the morning edition which had 
already been run off were confiscated. The printing works of 
the Rote Fahne which are in the Karl Liehknecht house had 
been occupied by the police some days previously, and the 
Rote Fahne had already been prohibited before the burning 
of the Reichstag. 

Emergency Decrees. The fire in the Reichstag was put 
out during the night. Within a few hours the President of 
the Reichstag signed a decree entitled u Emergency Decree 
for the protection of the Nation and the State.” It contained 
the following clauses : 

<e In virtue of Article 48 of the constitution of the Reich 
and as Treasures of defence against Communist acts of 
violence which endanger the State, it is decreed : 

“ 1. Articles 114, 115, 1 17, 118, 123, 124 and 153 of the 
Constitution of the German Reich are suspended until 
further notice. Consequently restrictions on personal 


TH J3 REAL INCENDIARIES 


■I 


7 1 

freedom and on the right of free expression bf opinion, 
including the freedom of the Press, and of the right of 
association and assembly, are permissible beyond the 
limit laid down in these articles of the Constitution. In 
addition, the privacy of correspondence, of the post, 
telegraph and telephone is suspended, and house- 
searchings and the confiscation or restriction on the 
rights of property are permissible. 

“ 4. Any person who opposes any orders issued by the State 
authorities or officials authorised by them for the en- 
forcement of this decree, or orders issued by the Reioh 
Government in accordance with section 2 ; or who sup- 
ports or incites to such opposition, is liable to' imprison- 
ment for not less than one month, or to a fine from 150 
to 15,000 Reichsmarks, unless a heavier penalty is 
imposed under existing legislation. * 

“ Any person whose opposition endangers life is liable to 
not less than six ’'months hard labour, in extenuating 
circumstances, and if the opposition has fatal results, 
to the death penalty, or in extenuating circumstances to 
not less than two years penal servitude. 

“ Any person who incites to opposition to the public 
danger is liable to hard labour, or in extenuating cir- 
cumstances to imprisonment, for not less than three 
months. 

“ 5. The death penalty is substituted for penal servitude 
for life where this is laid down under the Criminal Code, 
namely, under sections 81 (high treason) ; 229 (poison- 
ing) ; 307 (arson) ; 311 (causing explosions) ; 312 
(causing floods) ; 315 (2) (damage to railways) ; 324 
(attempts to poison groups of persons). 

“ The following crimes are punishable with death, or, 
unless heavier penalties are imposed by previous legisla- 
tion,>with penal servitude for life or up to* 15 years ; 

“ (1) any attempt to murder the President or Ministers or 
Commissioners, whether of the Reich or of the States of 
the Reich, or instigation to such murder, or agreement 
or conspiracy with others aiming at such murder. 



72 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLjSR TERROR 

“ In cafe under section 1 15 (2) < 5 f the Criminal Code 
(serious rioting) or section 125 (2) (serious breaches of 
c the peace), any act involving the use of arms or con- 
scious and deliberate co-operation with armed persons, 
“ (3) any act to deprive any person of his or her liberty 
with a view to using him or her as a hostage in political 
conflicts. 0 

The Campaign. Special editions of the papers, minis- 
• terial speeches, wireless announcements and posters every- 
where announced : “ The Communists have set fire to the 
Reichstag ! Insurrection and civil war were to follow ! The 
Communists intended to violate your wives and murder 
your children ! The Communists intended to poison the 
water in the wells and the food in the restaurants and can- 
teens ! ” Every hour crimes of the Communists were ham- 
mered into the readers of the German papers and those 
who listened to the wireless. The campaign was developed 
on a systematic plan. The Press was crammed with atrocity 
stories of what the Communists had intended. The Vossische 
fitting of March 1st gave information which it had had 
from Government sources : 

€ . 

“ The Government is of the opinion that the situation is 
such that a danger to the State and to the Nation existed 
and still exists. The material from the Karl Liebknecht 
house is now being examined by the Government’s legal 
advisers. Official reports state that this material con- 
tains proof that terrorist acts had been systematically 
prepared by the Communists on a scale which would 
place the Nation and the State in the greatest danger. 
Among the confiscated Communist material definite 
plans have been found for the seizure of hostages, 
especially the wives and children of particular indivi- 
duals, plans for incendiary acts on public buildings, 
directions for terrorist groups who were to be placed at 
certain points in the uniform of the police, Stonlx 
Detachments and Stahlhelm. There is, it is declared, 


1 

THE jREAL INCENDIARIES 


well-founded suspicion that the Communist 1 activities 
are to be continued and that the central leadership of 
their operations will if necessary be removed from Berlin. 
There is also good cause to believe that, as in Karl Lieb- 
knecht house, there are subterranean cellars and pass- 
ages at other points, through which the Communists 
escape at the moment of danger. In this connection, it 
is emphasised that the necessary steps have been taken 
at the German frontiers, to make the flight of suspected 
persons into foreign countries impossible. In connection 
with the act of incendiarism in the Reichstag, it is stated 
that irrefutable proof exists that the chairman of the 
Communist section in the Reichstag, Deputy’ Torgler, 
had been for some hours in the Reichstag building with 
the incendiary, and that he had also been with others 
who had been concerned in the crime. It is added sthat 
the other criminals may have been able to escape 
through the subterranean passages which, in connection 
with the heating arrangements of the Reichstag, link the 
Reichstag building itself with the building occupied by 
the President of the Reichstag. In this connection, refer- 
ence is made to the arrest of two persons who telephoned 
from the Reichstag building asserting that the President 
of the Reichstag, Goering, was the instigator of the 
incendiary act, and stress is laid on the fact that the 
people concerned were connected with the Social 
Democratic Party and press. 

c The authorities state that the fight against Communism 
will now be conducted with extreme severity. Anyone 
who works with the Communists, or regarding whom 
there are sufficient grounds to suspect that he is working 
with them, will be as rigorously dealt with as the Com- 
munists themselves. The Government statements also 
make it clear that the elections will be held under all 
circumstances. 

* It<*is to be noted that the decrees for the protection of the 
Nation and the State, and the decree which punishes high 
treason more severely than hitherto, are supplementary 


1 


% 


74 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

to eaGch other. The authorities ^tate that the clauses 
of the decree for the protection of the nation and the" 
f state which are particularly directed against Com- 
munism were necessary because of the documents found 
in Karl Liebknecht house. Thus, for example, the in- 
creased severity of the punishments laid down in the 
Criminal Code for the administering of poison and 
poisoning to the common danger has been due to the 
fact that the Communists intended to carry out acts of 
poisoning on a large scale, including the poisoning of 
food in restaurants frequented by politicians who were 
their enemies. 5 * 

t 

Minister Goering spoke on the wireless on March ist, 
and this was relayed from all German stations. According 
to 4 he unanimous reports published in the press Goering 
made the following statements in his speech : 

u The Communists are using leaflets and handbills to rally 
workers capable of using arms for red mass self-defence. 
This pretext was to enable the masses of the revolu- 
tionary Communists to be mobilised and to bring them 
into battle against the Nation and the State. I should 
like to state openly that we are not carrying on a de- 
fensive fight but that we have passed to the offensive 
along the whole front. It will be my principal task to 
extirpate Communism from our people. For that reason 
we have also mobilised those forces of national Ger- 
many whose main task it must be to overcome Com- 
munism. ... 

u On February 15th it was ascertained that the Com- 
munist party was engaged in organising terrorist troops 
in units up to 200 men. These groups were to dress in 
Storm Petachment uniforms and then to cacry out at- 
tacks on motor cars, stores, shops, etc. Similar attacks 
were to be carried out on allied associations such, as the 
Stahlhelm and the national parties. By these means/ it 
was hoped to break the unity of the national movement. 


» 


■ 1 

THE ’REAL INCENDIARIES 75 

Terrorist troops in the uniform of the Stahllielm were 
also to carry out similar activities. In cases of arrest, 
false particulars were to be given. In addition, numerous 
forged orders of the Storm Detachment and Stahihelm 
leaders were found in which the Storm Detachments 
were directed secretly to hold themselves in readiness 
for the night of March 6 th, in order to occupy Berlin, 
and they were to he prepared to use their arms and 
beat down all resistance, etc.'' These forged orders were • 
then to be circulated to the authorities and among the , 
citizens in order to create the fear of a National Socialist 
putsch and to throw the workers into the necessary state 
of confusion. There were also forged police orders in- 
structing the police to hand over armoured cars. At a 
meeting of the Communist Party executive on February 
1 8th, there was discussion of what was expressly called 
a pact of attack of the united proletariat against the 
bourgeoisie and against the Fascist State. On the same 
day, the leader of a group which was intended to blow 
up bridges, who had fallen under suspicion owing to 
a considerable quantity of explosives being missing, was 
arrested. A short time afterwards, an organisation of the 
Communist Party was discovered which was to work 
with poison. A poison plan was discovered in Cologne 
which made it clear that the poison was to be used in 
the food of the Storm Detachments and of the Stahl- 
helms. A further document proves that not only the 
wives and children of leading individuals were to be 
taken as hostages, but also the wives and children of 
police officials, who were to be put in front of demon- 
strations as a living wall of defence. The leadership of 
this murder organisation was in the hands of the Com- 
munist leader Muenzenberg. 

“ On February 22nd the central committers issued the 
slogan of the arming of the working class. The instruc- 
tions state 4 In the application of the terror, every means 
* and every weapon must be employed . 5 Mass strikes were 
organised. Solidarity strikes were to be prepared. All 




76 BROWN BOOK OF THE HIT if E R TERROR 

persons abie to use arms were to report, and all members 
were to prepare themselves for illegality * 59 

Goering then spoke of an organisation plan for an armed 
insurrection entitled “ The Art of Armed Insurrection , 5 5 
He stated that this armed insurrection was the first phase 
of civil war. Instructions were said to be given in it for the 
use of small terrorist groups, and for the starting of fires in 
thousands and thousands of places. The aim of these activi- 
ties was said to be to entice the police and the Reichswehr 
Into the country and then to start the insurrection in the 
unprotected towns. In making use of hostages, no humani- 
tarian motives should be allowed to intervene. Goering’s 
concluding words were : 

e£ JmCI me tell the Communists : My nerves have never 
given way up to now, and I feel strong enough to repay 
their criminal activities in kind/’ 

Who were the Incendiaries ? From the moment when 
the news was spread of the burning of the Reichstag the 
question was raised throughout the press of the world ; 
Who were the incendiaries ? Most of the German papers 
adopted the statement of the Hitler Government that the 
Communists had set fire to the Reichstag. The whole of 
the foreign Press, however, received the official information 
with considerable scepticism, which soon developed into 
open ridicule of the official account. The Temps of March 1st 
contains the following statement : 

u The official communique is obviously intended to rouse 
the population to fury against the Left opposition. There 
is no way of testing the police statements. It can only 
be said *hat the burning of the Reichstag comes very 
opportunely for the Government election propaganda. 
It serves as prelude to action not only against the 
Communists, but also against the Social Democrats, and 
also serves the purpose of enabling the Nazi Storm 


/ p 

^ THE REAL INCENDIARIES 77 

, Detachments and 3 the Stahlhelm to come out as an 
armed force.” 

In the same edition of the Temps it is said that the Demo- 
cratic circles and circles of the Left in Berlin are sceptical 
regarding the origin of the Reichstag fire. In the issue of 
the following day, the Temps further states : 

“ The arrest of van der Lubbe and his accomplices is 
not sufficient to lift the veil which covers the Reichstag 
fire.” 

The London News Chronicle of March ist declared : 

f “ The suggestion that the German Communists had any 
official connection with the affair is just nonsense.” 

The London Evening Standard of March ist, 1933, staged : 

“It cannot be disputed that there are millions of people in 
Germany to-day who simply cannot and will not believe 
the extraordinary stories circulated officially about the 
‘ Red 5 revolution which has only just been averted. 
Nor is the official version of the setting alight of the 
Reichstag by a Dutch Communist implicitly believed 
by many people.” 

These few examples out of the many press-reports suffice 
to show that no credence was given outside Germany to the 
official declarations of the Hitler government* The whole 
^ world outside Germany was and is convinced that the 
National Socialists set fire to the Reichstag. We will give 
one more quotation which brings out the view of the out- 
side world with particular clarity. 

The leading article in the Daily Telegraph of March 2nd 
contains the following ; 

“ Van der Lubbe’s examination will perhaps explain how 
' he smuggled in his supplies of benzine, and whether he 
worked alone or as one of the c Ten 5 who are reported 


% 



78 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

by the Nazis to have had a hanci in the job. As to 
this it may well be asked, first, c where are the nine 
others ? 9 ; and second, 4 where were the lynx-eyed 
Reichstag watchmen ? 5 55 

Within three days of the Reichstag fire the Hitler 
Government was confronted with the fact that no one 
abroad gave any credence to its reports. 

^ 7 ho Benefited from the Reichstag Fire? Every 
criminal investigator first puts the question : who derived 
any advantage from the crime ? And this question must be 
put in connection with the Reichstag fire. 

The Hitler government asserted in its official report of 
February 28th that the Reichstag fire had been organised 
by Communists and that it was to have been the signal for a 
bloody insurrection and civil war. Bvt is there, apart from 
the Government’s assertion, a single shred of evidence that 
on the night of February 27th the Communist Party in- 
tended to resort to “ bloody insurrection ” ? The Commun- 
ist Party’s tactics are definitely at variance with such a 
suggestion. 

On March 25th, 1933, the German Communist Party 
issued a statement on the burning of the Reichstag which 
contains the following : 

** Anyone who has even the slightest knowledge of Com- 
munism, of the teachings of Marx and Lenin, of the 
decisions of the Communist International and of the 
German Communist Party, knows that the methods of 
individual terror, arson, acts of sabotage, and so forth, 
do not belong to the tactical methods of the Communist 
movement. The Communist Party has always stated that 
its aim was the carrying through of the p^Metarian 
revolution. In order to achieve this aim, the party uses 
the tactics of revolutionary mass struggle, the winning of 
the masses for the Communist movement through 
agitation and propaganda, and above all through the 


1 THE kEAL INCENDIARIES 79 

organisation of thfe daily struggle for the immediate 
interests of the workers. These are the tactics through 
which the Communist movement, on the basis of Marxist 
and Leninist principles, realises its aims in every country. 

It is obvious that the Reichstag fire could have no 
imaginable sense or purpose for the Communist move- 
ment.” 

Gould setting fire to the Reichstag bring any advantages 
to the Communists ? The German Communist Party had , 

[ been increasing its influence steadily during the preceding* 
years. In the presidential elections of March 193*2 it secured 
4,960,000 votes for its candidate Ernst Thalrnanri. In the 
Reichstag elections of July 31st, 1932, it secured, in round 
figures, 5,300,000 votes. In the elections of November 6th, 
1932, it reached 6, 000,000 votes. The Communist Party 
entered the campaign for the election of March 5th, 1933, 
with exceedingly good prospects ; the whole foreign Press 
prophesied a great increase in the Communist vote. 

The dissatisfaction in the Social Democratic ranks was 
growing. Repeated acts of provocation by the Nazis, the 

I ejection of the Social Democratic ministers in Prussia by an 
officer and “three men, the passivity of the trade union and 
party leaders, all contributed to driving wide sections of 
former Social Democratic voters into supporting the Com- 
munists. 

There was equal dissatisfaction in the ranks of the 
National Socialists. In the November election of 1932 Hitler 
, had lost over 2,000,000 votes. The process of disintegra- 
tion was developing. When Hitler came to power, many of 
; his adherents expected a decisive change for the better. It 
I did not come. There was a danger of still further secession 
I into the ranks of the Communists. 

I The Hitler Government included among tho evidence of 
? what the Communists had had in mind the pamphlet : 
The sirt of Insurrection. The Bayrische Kurier , the organ 
oT the Catholic Bavarian People’s Party, in its issue of 
March 3rd, 1933, referred to the fact that this pamphlet 


I 




f 


80 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

dated frofn 1923. And the pamphlet Contains the following 
quotation from Lenin : 

c< One must make sure, first, that all the class forces 
hostile to us have fallen into complete enough confusion, 
are sufficiently at loggerheads with each other, have 
sufficiently weakened themselves in a struggle beyond 
their capacities, to give us a chance of victory ; secondly, 
one must ensure that all the vacillating, wavering, 
unstable, intermediate" elements— the petit-bourgeoisie 
and the petit-bourgeois democracy, in contradistinction 
to the bourgeoisie — have sufficiently exposed themselves 
in th$ eyes of the people, and have disgraced themselves 
through their material bankruptcy ; thirdly, one must 
have the feeling of the masses in favour of supporting the 
most determined, unselfishly resolute, revolutionary 
Action against the bourgeoisie. Then, indeed, revolution 
is ripe ; then, indeed, if we have qorrectly gauged all the 
conditions briefly outlined above, and if we have chosen 
the moment rightly, our victory is assured. . . . 

“ With the vanguard alone, victory is impossible. It 
would be not only foolish, but criminal, to throw the 
vanguard into the final struggle so long as, the whole 
class, the general mass, has not taken up a position 
either of direct support of the vanguard or at least of 
benevolent neutrality towards it. . . 

Had Goering even glanced at the pamphlet, he would not 
have made the mistake of citing it as evidence against the 
Communist Party. 

Hitler as Hugenberg's Prisoner. On January 30th, 
1933* the so-called Government of “ national concentration ” 
was formed, with Hitler as Chancellor. The terms on which 
Hindenburg* appointed Hitler were extremely hafrd for the 
National Socialists. German Nationalist ministers had the 
absolute majority in the Cabinet. The Vice-Chancellor, 
von Papen, was appointed Commissioner for Prussia, al- 
though in previous Governments this post had been filled 


8x 


the 1 real incendiaries 

by the Reich Chaikelior himself. The Ministry of the . 

Reichswehr, which the National Socialists had claimed in l 1 

the last stage of the struggle for power, was entrusted to 
General von Blomberg, a loyal supporter of Hindenburg, 

When the new Cabinet took the oath on January 30th, 

Hitler had to give an express undertaking, in the presence 
of all the members of the Cabinet, that he would not alter 
the composition of the Government, whatever the result of 
the election might be. The three ’National Socialist Ministers 
Hitler, Frick and Goering took their places in a Government, 
of German Nationalists, who controlled all the economic 
ministries besides the Ministry of Foreign Adairs and the 
Ministry of the Reichswehr. According to the plans of the 
German Nationalists, Hitler was to be their prisoner. He 
was received by Hindenburg only in the presence of von 
Fapen. There was no precedent for such treatment* to a 
Chancellor. 

No change could* be made in this situation by legal 
methods. The German Nationalists were very pleased with 
themselves. The second leader in command of the Stahl- 
helm, Lieutenant- Colonel Diisterberg, in an election meet- 
ing on February 12th, made known to the public the fact 
of Hitler^ undertaking not to make any change in the 
Cabinet. 

The men round Hitler, especially Goebbels and Goering) 
did all they could to free Flitter from the embrace of the 
German Nationalists. Only a changed distribution of power 
within the Government could damp down the growing 
dissatisfaction of many National Socialist electors* An 
attempt at a putsch was too dangerous. The Reichswehr and 
the Stahlhelm were with Hindenburg* If it came to fighting 
it was likely that the Reichsbanner would side with the 
Reichswehr and the Stahlhelm against the Nazis. 

• ■* % 

Dr. Oberfohren’s Memorandum. It was in this sit- 
uation that the National Socialists entered the election 
Campaign. Dr. Goebbels, the most ingenious of the National 
Socialist leaders, saw how things threatened to develop. 


82 BROWN BOOK. OF THE HITLE'R TERROR 

# It was he who first thought of a gra nd^coup which would at 
one blow change the political position of the National 
Socialists, Evidence of the origin and carrying through of 
this coup exists. On April 26th and 27th, 1933, the Manchester 
Guardian published articles on the Reichstag fire in which 
reference was made to a memorandum originating in 
German Nationalist circles. This memorandum was pro- 
duced by the former chairman of the German Nationalist 
* fraction in the Reichstag, Dr. Oberfohren. When it became 
.known that Dr. Oberfohren was the author of the memo- 
randum referred to in articles published in the Manchester 
Guardian^ the attack on him began, and on May 7th he 
was found dead in his flat. The report issued by the Hitler 
Government stated that he had committed suicide. In 
reality he had been murdered by the Nazis. 

Aft^r the March 5th elections Dr. Oberfohren had 
attempted to organise the fight of the German Nationalists 
and the Stahlhelm against the NaziS. As a confidant of 
Hugen berg’s he was fully informed of all that went on in the 
Cabinet. He set down in a memorandum what he knew of 
the preparations for the burning of the Reichstag, and sent 
this memorandum to his friends. 

We quote from this memorandum only the most import- 
ant passages which indicate what was taking place behind 
the scenes during February, After stating that the repeated 
searches of Karl Liebknecht House had produced no results, 
Dr. Oberfohren gives an account of how the plan for the 
burning of the Reichstag was developed by the National 
Socialists. 

Dr. Goebbels 5 Plan. tfc Herr Doctor Goebbels, un- 
troubled by any scruples, had soon prepared a plan 
which, if carried out, would not only overcome the op- 
position of the German Nationalists to the Nazi demands 
for the suppression of Social Democratic and Communist 
agitation, but in certain circumstances, if completely 
successful, would also secure the prohibition of thef 
Communist Party. 


the' REAL INCENDIARIES 83 

“ Goebbels considered it necessary that material should 
be found in Karl Liebknecht House which would prove 
the criminal intentions of the Communists and estab- 
lish that a Communist insurrection was imminent and 
that therefore there was immediate danger in delay. 
As Melcher’s police (Melcher was police president of 
Berlin) had still found nothing in the Karl Liebknecht 
House, a new police president for Berlin must be ap- 
pointed from the National Socialist ranks. It was only 
with great reluctance that Herr von Papen allowed his - 
nominee, Melcher, to be displaced. The National 
Socialist’s nomination of Count Helldorf, ’head of the 
Berlin storm troops, was not accepted. Finally agree- 
ment was reached on Admiral von Levetzow, who, 
although he belonged to the National Socialist Party, 
also still had connections with the German Nationalists. 
It was a simple matter to smuggle material into the 
Karl Liebknecht House, which was then empty. The 
police had the plans of the office section and the cellars. 
The necessary documents could therefore be easily put 
there. 

“ From the first Goebbels was clear as to the necessity of 
underlining the seriousness and the credibility of the 
forged documents, on their discovery, by some incident, 
even if this was only hinted at. Provision was in fact 
made for this. 

“ On February 24th the police forced their way into the 
Karl Liebknecht House, which had been standing 
empty for some weeks, searched it thoroughly and sealed 
it up. That same day the official announcement was 
made that a quantity of extremely treasonable material 
had been found. 

“ On February 26th the Conti Bureau, the Government’s 
news ffiureau, issued a very detailed account of what 
the result of the search had been. It is not worth while 
to' repeat this statement, the penny-dreadful style of 
which struck even the most unprejudiced reader. A 
detailed account was given of secret passages, secret 



84 BROWN BOOK. OF THE HITLeV TERROR 

springs, secret tunnels, catacombs, subterranean vaults 
« and other contrivances of similar character. The whole 
contents of the report produced a ridiculous effect, as 
for example the description of the cellars of an office 
building in the fantastic terms c subterranean vaults 9 
and e catacombs/ It was remarkable that in what were 
described as well-concealed rooms in the cellar the 
police should find several hundredweight of precise 
directions for the carrying through of an imminent: 
* revolution. The statement that what had been found in 
these secret vaults was proof c that the Communist 
Party # and its auxiliary organisations lived a second 
illegal existence below the surface 9 was particularly 
nonsensical. 

“ Admiral von Levetzow, police president of Berlin, on 
tffe afternoon of* Sunday, February 26th, made a report 
to the Minister of the Interior, Hgrr Goering, on what 
had been found in the Karl Liebknecht House. 
u The discoveries in the Karl Liebknecht House gave rise 
to considerable dissension within the Coalition Govern- 
ment. Papen, Hugenberg and Seldte vigorously re- 
proached Herr Goering for making use of such a swindle. 
They pointed out that the documents alleged to have 
been discovered were such clumsy forgeries that they 
could in no circumstances be produced in public. They 
pointed out that it should have been managed more 
skilfully, along lines similar to those used by the Eng- 
lish Conservatives some time previously in connection 
with the forged Zinoviev letter. The crudeness of the 
description of the Karl Liebknecht House given by the 
Conti Bureau was emphasised. German Nationalists and 
Stahlhelmers pointed out that no one would believe 
that the Communists would have deliberately established 
their illegal headquarters in Karl Liebknecht House. 
The forgeries should have been carried out less clumsily, 
and the illegal rooms should have been discovered in 
some other quarter of Berlin. 

“ Nevertheless, as the whole affair had already been made 


I THE REAL INCENDIARIES 85 

public, the Gentian Nationalists could do nothing but,, 
agree to the further strengthening of the decrees against 
the Communists, on the basis of the material that had 
been discovered. Of course they were in no way con- 

I cerned to protect the Communists, but merely objected 
to the crudeness of the methods used. At the same time, 
they also wanted to allow the Communists in any event 
to take part in the elections, as they wanted to prevent 
the National Socialists from securing the absolute *> 
majority in the Reichstag through the elimination of the* 

I Communist Party/ 9 

1 ■ ■ 

% Goebbels 5 Plan is carried out. Dr. Oberfohren shows in 
his memorandum that Goebbels thought it necessary to 
heighten the effect of the material alleged to have been 
discovered in Karl Liebkneeht House, by an incident of 
some kind. Pie thought that he would achieve the greatest 
success — we continue to give Dr. Oberfohren’s account — 
by a series of acts of arson which were to culminate in a fire 
in the German Reichstag on February 27th. It was agreed 
that the most important Nazi leaders — Plitler, Goering and 
Goebbels — were not to make any engagements to speak at 
election meetings on that date, but were to be in Berlin, 
We give below an announcement published in the Volkischer 
Beobachter of the election speeches which would be made by 
Hitler. It is specially noticeable that Hitler kept free the 
dates from the 25th to the 27th of February : 

Frankfurt-am-Main 
Munich 
Leipzig 
Breslau 
Berlin 
Hamburg* 

Konigsberg 


The Vdlkischer Beobachter adds ; “ It is possible that election 
meetings will also be arranged for February 25th and 26th, 



February 23 


s> 

March 

>> 

a 


24 

28 

1 

2 

3 

4 



86 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

The time of the meetings will be befween 8 and 9 p.m.” „ 
So in order to be prepared for emergencies Hitler had kept 
free the dates from February 25th to 27th. But in any event 
it was announced beforehand that Hitler could in no cir- 
cumstances speak in any election meetings on February 
27 th. 

Contradictions in the Official Reports. The first official 
report stated that a policy officer noticed people carrying 
lighted torches in the dark building, and that he succeeded 
1 ip capturing the criminal ; it further stated that the criminal 
was found m one of the cellars and allowed himself to be 
arrested without showing any resistance. On March 4th, 
however, a further statement describes the arrest of van 
der Lubbe as follows : 

“ Pblice on the Brandenburg Tor side of the Reichstag 
noticed the fire in the building. £)ne of the police saw 
torches quite clearly and immediately fired. At first 
there was some doubt about this incident. Since then, 
however, the marks of the bullets have actually been 
found. The police then rushed into the Reichstag. They 
found in the lobby, not, as was originally reported, in 
the cellars, the man Marinus van der Lubbe, who was 
there overpowered by one of the officers after consider- 
able resistance.” 

This is the first contradiction in the official reports. 

Charges against Torgler and Koenen. On the evening 
of March 1st, the official Preussische Pressedienst issued the 
following statement : 

“ The official investigation of the grave act of incendiarism 
in the building of the German Reichstag has up to the 
present shown that at least seven persons Must have 
been required for the bringing in of the inflammable 
material alone, while the placing of it and simultaneous 
setting fire to the various points in the huge building 
must have required at least ten persons. There can be 



Erk?§t Torgler, Chairman of the Communist fraction in 
the Reichstag. 

Recused by the Nazis of being concerned in the burning of 
the Reichstag, and arrested when he presented himself at 
police headquarters to rebut the charge. 


PLATE NO, 6. 


BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

no doubt whatever that the incerfdiaries were so com- 
pletely familiar with all details of the vast building 
that only unrestricted access over a number of years 
could have given this definite knowledge of all the 
rooms. Grave suspicion therefore rests on the Com- 
munist party deputies, who particularly in recent weeks 
have been noticeably often meeting in the Reichstag 
building under the most divers pretexts. This famili- 
arity with the Reichstag building and with the duty 
arrangements of the officials also explains the fact that 
for the time being only the Dutch Communist who was 
caught in the act was arrested, as after he had carried 
out hfs criminal deed he was unable to escape owing to 
his ignorance of the building. The arrested man, who 
is also known in Holland as extremely radical, has been 
continuously present at the meetings of the Communist 
Action Committee and was drawn in to carry out the 
act of incendiarism. * 

* The investigation has further established that three 
witnesses, some hours before the outbreak of the fire, 
saw the arrested Dutch criminal in the company of the 
Communist deputies Torgler and Koenen, in the cor- 
ridors of the Reichstag, at about 8 o’clock i x\ the even- 
ing. A mistake on the part of these witnesses is out of 
the question in view of the criminal’s appearance. As 
moreover the deputies’ entrance to the Reichstag is 
closed at 8 p.m., and the Communist deputies Torgler 
and Koenen at about 8.30 p.m. asked for their coats 
and hats to be brought to their rooms, and only left the 
building through another door at about 10 p.m., 
extremely grave suspicion rests on these two Communists. 
For it was between these times that the fire was 
arranged. 

“ The rumour that deputy Torgler voluntarily presented 
himself at police headquarters is not correct. It is 
true that, through his legal adviser, he asked for a* safe- 
conduct when he realised that escape was impossible 
But this was refused, and the deputy was arrested/’ 


THE 'REAL INCENDIARIES 89 

On March 4th the 1 chief of the political police issued a 
report stating that : 

“ In so far as the investigation has up to now produced 
results giving rise to well-founded suspicion of the com- 
plicity of third persons, in the interests of the pending 
prosecution and of the security of the State no state- 
ment can be made.” 

So that on March 1st grave suspicion rests on Torgler and 
Koenen, and the security of the State does not prevent 
the announcement of the grounds for this suspicion. On 
March 4th any information bearing on the grounds for 
suspicion would endanger the security of the State. This is 
the second contradiction. 

In the Pressedienst message of March 1st, which,* has 
already been quoted, it is stated that Torgler and Koenen 
left the Reichstag building at about 10 p.m. According to 
the messages issued by the Wolff Bureau , the Telegrafen- 
Union and the foreign correspondents, the fire was dis- 
covered in the time between 9 and 9.15 p.m. At 9.15 the 
fire brigade started operations. At about the same time, 
the police -surrounded the Reichstag and prevented any 
access to it, A few minutes after the fire had been dis- 
covered Goering arrived on the spot, and shortly after his 
arrival Hitler, Goebbels, Papen and Prince August Wil- 
helm also arrived. But in spite of this the deputies Torgler 
and Koenen quietly left the burning Reichstag, which 
was cordoned off by the police and surrounded by a crowd 
of thousands of people. And it did not occur to anyone to 
ask them a single question. 

This is the third contradiction* 

A Complete Alibi. Two waiters in the? Aschinger 
restaurant near the Friedrichs trasse Station have deposed 
on oath that the Reichstag deputy Torgler took his even- 
ing meal in the restaurant not later than 8.30. Torgler must 
therefore have left the Reichstag at the very latest soon after 




I 


90 BROWN BOOK. OF THE HITt.EE TERROR 

8 o’clock, and not at 10 o’clock as the official statement asserts, f 

A sworn deposition made by the Reichstag deputy 
Wilhelm Koenen is printed below. This shows that Torgler 
and Koenen left the Reichstag that evening between 8.10 
and 8.15 p.m. We give the deposition in full, because 
Koenen arrived at the Reichstag at about 6.30 p.m. on 
February 27th, and was with Torgler until 1.30 a.m. the 
following morning. These two deputies have a complete 
alibi which shows that there is not a word of truth in the 
charge against them made by the Hitler Government. 

*Koenen’s deposition is as follows : 

« 

44 In the afternoon of February 27th I went, as I had done 
almost every day the previous week, to the police head- 
quarters in the Alexanderplatz to see Detective Commis- 
sioner Dr. Braschwitz, in order to discuss with him 
further the question of releasing election material from 
Karl Liebknecht House. Shortlf after 3 p.m. we went 
round to Karl Liebknecht House, with some detective 
officers, and there a few small lots of posters, streamers 
and other election material were released by the police 
and packed and sent out. When this had been completed, 
at 540 p.m., I took leave of the Detective Commissioner, 
arranged to meet some of our helpers next day in a 
neighbouring restaurant to organise the despatch of 
further material, and then telephoned to our Fraction 
secretariat in the Reichstag, as I had to discuss some 
points in connection with the distribution of speakers 
for the last week of the election campaign. 

44 Following on this telephone conversation I went direct 
to the Reichstag for the purpose stated, reaching there 
shortly before half-past six. There I met my colleague 
Ernst Torgler, who as chairman of the official election 
committee of our Party was concerned in the^allocation 
of Party members of the Reichstag to the meetings which 
had been arranged. At about 7.15 p.m. I had settled the 
business I had come for, and Torgler asked me to wait 
a few minutes for him, as he was only waiting for a 



THE REAL INCENDIARIES C)I 

telephone call which would soon be through. Then we . 
could go and have a meal together, I then told him 
of the constant difficulties which were being made over 
the release of election material from Karl Liebknecht 
House. We agreed that Torgler, as head of the Party' *s 
central election committee, should telephone to Dr. 
Diehls, head of the political section of the Berlin police, 
to lodge a further protest against the withholding of 
election posters and other election material. 

“ This conversation with Dr. Diehls took place at about, 
7.30 p.m. Following on this I got myself put through 
to the assessor, who as Dr. Diehls’ right hand man was 
responsible for handing over the material, and put my 
point-of-view as to the difficulties which were being 
created, also discussing what had to be done the follow- 
ing day, in connection with which I had already made 
a further appointment to meet the Detective Commis- 
sioner at Karl Liebknecht House. 

“ After this telephone conversation with police head- 
quarters Torgler had another telephone conversation, 
at about a quarter to eight, with the lawyer Dr. Rosen- 
feld. Then, as the call from a Party friend which he had 
been expecting since seven o’clock still did not come 
through, he telephoned down to the porter at door 
5 and asked him, in the event of a call coining through 
to him after eight (when the exchange in the Reichstag 
closed), to call him down on the internal telephone 
from the Fraction secretariat room. 

“ Meanwhile the cloak-room attendant at the south door 
telephoned to ask whether Herr Torgler was now 
leaving, or whether his hat and coat should be brought 
up as usual to the Secretariat room. Torgler asked 
for his things to be brought up to him, and this was 
done at about eight o’clock. At eight o’clock the cloak- 
room and door 2 are closed. 

“ Then at last, at a couple of minutes past eight, the call 
’ which we had been waiting for came through, and had 
to be dealt with by the porter at door 5, the only door 


92 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

still open. Torgler was called 'down on the house 

# telephone, and naturally, having to come down from 
the third floor and not wanting to keep his friend waiting 
unnecessarily, he lost no time over getting down. A 
few minutes later Torgler returned from the porter’s 
office direct to the Fraction room, and soon after that 
we put on our things and, together with the woman 
secretary of the Fraction, left the Reichstag through door 
5 at perhaps a quarter past eight. 

“ So far from leaving the building in flight, as is alleged, 

* it so happened that we left the Reichstag building that 
evening 'at a much slower pace than we had ever done 
before. The secretary of the Fraction, who went out 
with us that night, was suffering from an inflamed vein 
which made it difficult for her to walk, so that we went 
at a snail’s pace. 

“ It was at this very slow pace that we walked to the 
Friedrichs trasse Station, where tfie secretary left us and 
went down to the Underground. We went straight, that 
is, therefore, at about half-past eight, to the Aschinger 
Restaurant at the Friedrichs trasse Station, where we 
had supper. There we met three other Party friends, 
and stayed for some time talking to them. Two of these 
friends left us after they had had a meal, somewhere 
between half-past nine and a quarter to ten. At ten 
o’clock there was a change of shift for the waiters, so 
we paid our bills shortly before ten. 

“It was already past ten o’clock when the new waiter 
came up to our table and, addressing me by name, said : 
4 Herr Koenen, have you heard, the Reichstag is on 
fire.’ I was astounded, and replied : * Man, are you 
mad ? It’s quite impossible ! ’ He answered excitedly : 
‘ No, it’s true, all the taxi-drivers say so. You can ask 
them at* the counter by the door. Thousands* of people 
are already collected there.’ 

“ Thus it was that we came to learn of one of th* most 
monstrous crimes in the history of the world, 

1 . - ■■■■> “ {Signed) Wilhelm Koenen.” 


THE REAL INCENDIARIES 



93 


This affidavit exposes the fourth contradiction in the 
official reports. 


The message issued by the Preussische Pressedienst of March 
ist, 1933, states that Torgier did not present himself at 
police headquarters, but that he was arrested. The deposi- 
tion printed below, which was given on oath by the bar- 
rister Dr. Kurt Rosenfeld, who accompanied Torgier to 
police headquarters, shows that this statement is untrue. 


a On the morning after the burning of the Reichstag, Herr 
Ernst Torgier rang me up on the telephone and asked 
I me whether I was willing to go with him to police head- 

quarters, where he intended to go in order to rebut the 
charges which had been made against him in connection 
with the Reichstag fire. I expressed my willingness to 
go with him, and at once telephoned to police head- 
quarters to inform them that I should be coming at 
once with Torgier. If I remember rightly, I spoke to 
an official of the name of Heller. I then drove to police 
headquarters in a car with Torgier and asked to see 
Herr Heller, to whom I said : c Here is Herr Torgier, 
and I must ask you to question him in connection with 
the charge that he is supposed to have had some sort 
of connection with the Reichstag fired The news that 
Torgier had presented himself voluntarily to be interro- 
gated brought several police officers into the room where 
1 was, asking : ‘ Is it true that Torgier has come of his 
own accord ? 9 

“ Herr Heller then went with Herr Torgier into another 
room, while I waited in the ante-room. After a long time 
Herr Torgier came out of the room again, and we waited 
together until Herr Heller called us both into another 
room ind in my presence declared that Torgier was 
under arrest. 

“{Signed) Kurt Rosenfeld." 


■ 




This is the fifth contradiction. 


94 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

• The Preussische Pressedienst of March ist reported that , 
clfputy Torgler had been several hours in company with 
the incendiary in the Reichstag building, and that he had 
also been in the company of other persons implicated in the 
fire. If Torgler had really been an accomplice, the most 
elementary common sense would have prevented him from 
showing himself in public with van der Lubbe. 

This is the sixth contradiction. 

The statement issued by* the official Preussische Pressedienst 
• on March ist asserts that the Communist deputies of the 
Reichstag were familiar with the Reichstag building and 
with the duly arrangements of the staff. In fact, the Com- 
munist deputies of the Reichstag were not familiar with 
the duty arrangements of the staff, as they had no seat on 
the presidium of the Reichstag and were moreover ex- 
cluded from all Committees which dealt with the adminis- 
tration of the Reichstag building. And moreover, as we 
shall show, on the day of the burning of the Reichstag the 
duty arrangements of the staff had been altered by the 
National Socialist House inspector, so that although 
Goering, president of the Reichstag, was in a position to 
know about this alteration, the Communist deputies could 
not have known of it. 

This is the seventh contradiction. 

Van der Lubbe not a Communist. The official 
Pressedienst messages of February 281I1 state that van der 
Lubbe “ stated that he was a member of the Dutch Com- 
munist Party.” (The version broadcast on the wireless, 
that van der Lubbe had had on him a membership card 
of the Dutch Communist Party, was dropped even on the 
night of the Reichstag fire, because it was too incredible.) 
The first journalist who interviewed van der Lubbe after 
the burning of the Reichstag was the reporter of the 
Amsterdam paper De Telegraaf y whose message was pub- 
lished in his paper on March 2nd : 

44 Marinus tells me that for some years now he has not beenli 
member of any party. He is not a convinced Communist. 9 ’ 


THE REAL INCENDIARIES 


„ In fact, Marinus van der Lubbe resigned from the Young 
Communist League of Leyden in April 1931, in order to, 
forestall his expulsion. 

This is the eighth contradiction. 

The Wolff Telegraph Bureau reported from Amsterdam on 
March 2nd : 

“ The attempt made by the Dutch Communists to repu- 
diate van der Lubbe cannot succeed, for police head- 
quarters in the Hague have information that Lubbe 
was not expelled but merely removed from the front 
line and given the cold shoulder because his radical 
ideas did not suit the cautious party leadership in 
Holland.” 

The German authorities wanted to create the impression 
that a Communist who Ijad been “ given the cold shoulder ” 
by the Dutch Communist Party (in reality van der Lubbe 
had not been a member of the Young Communist League 
since April 1931) was used by the German Communist 
Party for terroristic acts. Was it not the National Socialists 
who had been for years asserting that the closest links ex- 
isted between the Communist Parties, which are all only 
sections of the Communist International ? How then can 
it be imagined that a Dutch Communist who had been 
given the cold shoulder would be received by the German 
Communist leaders with open arms and entrusted with the 
most confidential work ?• 

That is the ninth contradiction. 

The same report issued by the Wolff Telegraph Bureau goes 
on to say : 

“ As recently as December 22nd, 1932, Lubbe took part 
in a meeting of taxi-drivers in the Hague who were on 
strike, and made a long Communist speech. This in- 
formation given by the Dutch police is extremely 

’important in its bearing on the Reichstag fire as an 
organised Communist terroristic act.” 


ill 


k 





96 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

This information given by the Dutch police is indeed 
extremely important in its bearing on the Reichstag fire* 
In the meeting of taxi-drivers van der Lubbe did not make 
a Communist speech, but, as he had frequently done before, 
attacked the Dutch Communist Party, 

We have definite evidence of this in a signed statement 
made by A. Terol, a member of the staff of the Tribune , 
and countersigned by a number of other persons present 
at the meeting. f 

This is the tenth contradiction. 

* The statement made by the chief of the political police 
on March 4th asserted that van der Lubbe knew German, 
Statements by everyone who knew him, and also the 
statements made by the journalists who visited him in 
prison and spoke to him, are all unanimous that van der 
Lufebe only speaks broken German. The Lokalanzeiger of 
February 28th states that van der Lubbe was interrogated 
with the aid of an interpreter. * 

This is the eleventh contradiction. 

The same statement made by the chief of the political 
police says : 

** Van der Lubbe is also known to the police as a Com- 
munist agitator. . . . On April 28th, 1931, he was 
arrested by the police in Gronau in Westphalia for 
selling post-cards of Communist tendency.” 

In actual fact, van der Lubbe did sell post-cards at 
Gronau in Westphalia ; they were post-cards of himself and 
his friend Hoiverda. The post-cards bear the following text 
in four languages : “ Workers 5 Sports and Study Tour of 
Marinus van der Lubbe and H. Hoiverda through Europe 
and the Soviet LJnion. Start of the tour from Leyden, 
April 14th* 1931.” There is not another word oft the card, 
not the slightest indication of Communist agitation. Van der 
Lubbe was arrested merely because he had no licence to 
sell cards on the street. * 

This is the twelfth contradiction. 


THE REAL INCENDIARIES 


97 


[ 

i T he chief of the Beilin political police further stated : j; 

<£ He (van der Lubbe) in his examination only admitted 
the true facts of the case in so far as he was confronted . | 

| with witnesses.” 

A few lines lower down the same report says : 

| “ He (van der Lubbe) confessed every detail.” 

No names of eye-witnesses of the act of incendiarism have 
been given by the Hitler Government. Even the official 
t Preussiscke Pressedicnst did not assert that van der Lubbe 
had been seen setting fire to the Reichstag by the police 
or by anyone else. And if this is so, then, according to the 
statement issued by the chief of the political police, he.4id 
not make any confession. On the other hand, the same 
police official states that van der Lubbe confessed every 
detail. 

This is the thirteenth contradiction. 

The so-called national Press, which is inspired by the 
police, announced the day after the Reichstag fire that van 
der Lubbe ’ had been in Moscow and had been trained 
there ; In reality van der Lubbe had never been in the 
Soviet Union. Pie went; direct from Leyden to Germany. 

This is the fourteenth contradiction, 
fr Van der Lubbe left Leyden between the 13th and the 
15th of February. According to a statement published in the 
Vossische Zeitung of March 2nd, 1933, he spent the night of 
the 1 7th- 1 8th February in a hostel at Glindow near Werden. 

On February 18th he went on foot to Berlin. In an inter- 
view which the Criminal Commissioner Heisy gave to the 
Dutch Press on March 13th, he stated that van der Lubbe 
had mad© the acquaintance of Communists at labour ex- 
changes and through them was brought into the Com- 
munist “ Action Committee.” Van der Lubbe did not 
arrive in Berlin until the evening of Saturday, February 
,18th, at the earliest. On the Sunday following, February 
Dt 





98 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

19 th, the labour exchanges were closed. If the statement 
njade by the police is correct, therefore, he could not have 
made the acquaintance of Communists at a labour ex- 
change before Monday, February 20th, at the earliest. The 
reader must imagine for himself : a Dutchman, speaking 
broken German, without any transfer papers from the 
Dutch Communist Party, on February 20th makes the 
acquaintance of Communists at a labour exchange in Berlin, 
is brought by them into 'contact with the leaders of the 
, party, and commissioned by them to set fire to the Reich- 
stag on February 27th 1 

This is th£ fifteenth contradiction. 

A statement issued by the official Preussische Pressedienst 
of March 1st says : 

“ The arrested man has been continuously present at the 
meetings of the Communist Action Committee and was 
drawn in to carry out the act of incendiarism.” 

On March 3rd the Central Committee of the German 
Communist Party made the following statement in reply : 

“ Of course no meetings of any Communist Action Com- 
mittee have been held in the Reichstag or elsewhere at 
which the man arrested in the Reichstag, van der Lubbe, 
was present. In the first place no Communist Action 
Committee exists, but only the Central Committee of 
the German Communist Party and its Political Bureau. 
In the second place no individuals take part in meet- 
ings of the Communist Party or of any of its units who 
are not members either of the German Communist 
Party or of some other section of the Comintern/ 5 

This reply to Goering’s assertions reveals the sixteenth 
contradiction. 

Catacombs in Karl Liebknecht House. A statement 
issued by the official Preussische Pressedienst on February 
2:8th, 1933, says : 


THE REAL INCENDIARIES 99 

“ Among the hundred centners of material which the 
police discovered in their search of the Karl Liebknecht 
House were instructions for the carrying out of the Com- 
, munist terror on the Bolshevik model. According to these 

<* instructions government buildings, museums, mansions 

| and essential plant were to be burnt down. The further 

i 1 direction is given that in riots and conflicts women and 

jj children are to be put in front of the terrorist troops, if 

possible the wives and children of police officials. The 
| discovery of this material has checked the systematic 

* carrying through of the Bolshevik revolution.” 

1 The Reichstag deputy Wilhelm Koenen, who was con- 
stantly working in the Karl Liebknecht House during the 
last few days of February as a leading official of the Com- 
munist Party, describes the searches in Karl Liebknecht 
House as follows : 

u In the forenoon of February 17th a gigantic crowd of 
detective officers, accompanied by several companies of 
ordinary police, rushed into the building and occupied 
every room. Once again, for perhaps the hundredth 
time, every room, every corner, every cupboard was 
thoroughly searched. They had taken the precaution 
of bringing skilled workers with them to take to pieces 
the desks for which there were no keys. All the cellars 
too were carefully searched. In the cellars, as usual, 
there was only the material which had been left over 
from various campaigns or had been returned to the 
office in the course of years. In the basement rooms 
there were also supplies of paper and bookshop stocks. 
On that occasion the police inspector still considered 
it necessary, at my request, to show me any papers 
confiscated as suspicious and to state that they were 
confiscated or to give me a receipt for them. Among 
the papers seized in the course of this exhaustive search, 
* which lasted many hours, there was neither the book 
The Art of Armed Insurrection nor any other so-called 






XOO BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

seditious publication. Nor was there any mention of 
these in the police reports issued immediately after the 
raid. It was only a week later, on February 24th, 
although I had been almost every day with police 
inspectors in the Karl Liebknecht House in connection 
with getting out election material, that police head- 
quarters suddenly asserted that in the course of a new 
search in the so-called catacombs seditious material 
had been found, including the book The Art of Armed 
Insurrection . This alleged new search, if it took place at 
all, must have been carried out without any civilian 
witnesses and without any representative of the people 
concerned being present. This is all the more significant 
as I had been practically every day in the Karl Lieb- 
knecht House negotiating with the police inspectors to 
recover election material, paper, books and so forth 
and getting them despatched. Although I was therefore 
available every day, I was neither summoned nor 
even informed when the alleged discovery was made. 
It would have been particularly easy to inform me of 
it as I was there on the 24th, on Saturday the 25th, 
and again on Monday the 27th, and was talking to 
detectives and inspectors in connection with the delivery 
of the material recovered from the police. 

££ On February 25th, after the report of the passages, 
vaults and catacombs had already appeared in heavy 
type in the 6 great 5 Press, when I had finished with 
the inspector in charge in connection with the release 
of election material, I asked him where the 4 cata- 
combs 5 were. A number of comrades who were helping 
with the despatch of the election material were also 
present. He then to our surprise pointed to a trap-door 
about a yard wide in a room on the ground floor which 
was used as a porter’s office ; the trap-door was raised, 
so that we could see a ladder leading down into the 
basement. A comrade who had worked in the building 
for many years and knew it well said : £ Man, thatfe 
the trap-door to our old beer-cellar 1 5 We all laughed. 


r 


THE REAL INCENDIARIES 


j ^ and asked the satne question : 4 Is that supposed to 
1 be the ££ catacombs ” ? 5 The inspector answered only 

I with a rather embarrassed nod. 

| “ That part of the building used to be an inn. The 

\ explanation of the passages through which people were 

f supposed to be able to get away to other streets is equally 

f simple. Karl Liebknecht House is a corner house, which, 

j as an office building for commercial undertakings had 

I store-rooms and working-rooms in the basement, and 

' these were described by Gocring’s police as vaults, 

passages and catacombs.” 

f These two statements expose the seventeenth’ contra- 
diction in the official reports. 

44 Signal tor Civil War.” The Pmmische Pressedienst 
announced on February 28th : 

u The burning of the Reichstag was to be the signal for 
a bloody insurrection and civil war. Looting on a large 
scale had been organised for Tuesday in Berlin. It has 
been ascertained that to-day was to have seen through- 
out Germany terrorist acts against individual persons, 
against private property and against the life and limb 
of the peaceful population, and also the beginning of 
general civil war.” 

The Vossiscke tyitwig of March 4th, 1933, reported : 

, e ‘ The work of the police has up to the present prevented 
the material being put into the hands of every Com- 
munist. It has only got into the hands of a few func- 
tionaries in secret communications.” 

The las* search of Karl Liebknecht House took place on 
| February 24th. It was on this occasion that the terrorist 
material is alleged to have been found. The political police 
state that the instructions for the terror did not reach all 
Communists, but were only known to a few functionaries. 



102 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

So that the German Communist Party would have had to 
circulate through every area in Germany, in the three days 
between February 24th and 27th, the material stored in the 
Karl Liebknecht House ; secondly, within the same three 
days, it would have had to get together the special groups 
who were to carry out the terrorist acts ; thirdly, it would 
have had to instruct and train these groups to carry out the 
terrorist acts ; and fourthly, it would have had to prepare 
and organise the rest of the members for the civil war which 
was to be unleashed through these terrorist acts. 

In February 1933 the German Communist Party had 
over three hundred thousand members, distributed all over 
Germany. The party would have had to work miracles 
to organise within three days for the carrying through of 
all the plans attributed to it by the official statements. 

Ifhis is the eighteenth contradiction. 

The ^Incriminating Material has not been pro- 
duced. During the evening of March 1st the official 
Preussische Pressediensi issued the following announcement : 

“ The Prussian Ministry of the Interior states, in connec- 
tion with the decree issued by the Reich Government 
against the Communist danger, dated February 28th, 
that particularly heavy penalties have been imposed for 
a number of crimes, because of the grave and acute 
danger which has been fully established, and of the 
inhuman and carefully prepared system of unrestricted 
Communist terror. Germany was to have been thrown 
into the chaos of Bolshevism. The assassination of 
individual leaders of the Nation and of the State, out- 
rages against essential services and public persons, 
the seizure as hostages of the wives and children of 
prominent men, were to produce fear and dismay among 
the nation and cripple any attempt at resistance on the 
part of the citizens. 0 

“ The Reich Commissioner for the Prussian Ministry <pf 
the Interior, Minister Goering, will in the very near 


r 

f 


THE REAL INCENDIARIES 


103 

future make public the documents which prove the 
necessity of all the measures which have been taken. 
The enormous amount of material is being sifted once 
again and a final examination of it is being* made with 
a view to ensuring that the security of the State cannot 
be further endangered by its publication.” 

Up to the present time the documents have not been 
published. This is the nineteenth contradiction. 

Goering denies his own Statement. On March 2nd, 
1 933, the Deutsche Ailgemeine Zeitung and the Tagliche Rundschau 
published the following message from the official Preussische 
Pressedienst : 

“ In certain foreign newspapers the slanderous assertion, 
emanating from German Marxist circles, is being circu- 
lated that the fee in the Reichstag building was 
organised not by Communists but from the National 
Socialist side. The originators of this slander have 
already been arrested, and will be brought to due 
punishment as soon as the investigation has been com- 
pleted. Among other things it is asserted that the Dutch 
Communist who was arrested is in reality an agent 
provocateur , and was induced to carry out the act of 
incendiarism by leading National Socialists. This is 
supposed to be proved by the fact that the criminal had 
used his coat and shirt as inflammable material, but: had 
not even removed the Communist documents and his 
passport which were found on him. Significance is 
further attached to the fact that the police authorities 
have not published the photograph of the incendiary 
and the documents found on him, and have also offered 
no reward for persons who could give further informa- 
j tion about the criminal and establish his connections 

wijh Communist and Social Democratic politicians. 
This unusual procedure in an important criminal case 
is supposed to be evidence that the authorities are 

$ 

i > 



104 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

hindering the elucidation of the«crime, in order to be 
able to use a National Socialist act of provocation as a 
* pretext for anti-Marxist measures. 

“ In reply to this it is stated from official sources that these 
slanderous arguments are of course devoid of any basis. 
The photographs of the criminal and of the documents 
found on him have not yet been published purely in the 
interests of the investigation. Publication will take place 
in the course of to-day. Moreover, the Berlin corres- 
pondents of foreign newspapers can obtain the photo- 
graphic reproductions in the course of to-day from the 
IA Department at police headquarters. The photo- 
graph of the criminal will also be handed to-day to the 
Dutch police in order to confirm the criminal’s identity. 
This will remove the possibility of further slanders. A 
specific warning is issued against the dissemination of 
such slanders.” 

But before the other German papers could publish this 
announcement, its publication was forbidden. Goering 
instructed the Wolf Bureau to circulate a sta tement that the 
Deutsche Allgemeim Zeitung and the Tagliche Rundschau had 
been taken in by a Communist forgery. 

Apparently Goering wanted to make people believe that 
anyone can simply ring up a newspaper and say : “ Preus- 
sische Pressedienst speaking,” and then secure publicity 
for any kind of story. In reality telephone messages from 
press agencies to newspapers are very strictly controlled. 
Before accepting any message, the editorial stenographer 
first asks for confirmation from the control. Goering’s 
dimenti cannot cause any doubt as to the fact that at first he 
intended, through the Preussische Pressedienst , to bluff the 
world, and then later — too late — realised the danger of the 
message, and tried to hold it back. 

This is the twentieth contradiction. 

The Hunt for Accomplices. The Conti-Senpce of 
the official Wolff Telegraph Bureau announced on March 
4th, 1933 : 


r 


THE REAL INCENDIARIES 


10,5 


I 46 that the Communist Reichstag deputy Schumann, 
at a Communist election meeting at Gehren (Thur- 
ingia) on February 24th, foretold the burning of the 
Reichstag building. Schumann’s actual words are 
I* reported to have been : 44 This evening the Reichstag 

will be in flames. But that makes no difference. If 
this dance hall is burnt down, then we will get a swung 
I floor.” 

. 1 . * 

The Vossische fitting of March 5th, 1933, states : 

44 A report was sent out from Thuringia anc[ further 
l broadcast by wireless, to the effect that the district 

authorities in Arnstacit in Thuringia were in possession 
of a report relating to a Communist election meeting 
held at Gehren on the evening of the wicked act of arson 
in the building of the German Reichstag ; that the local 
police official who was present at the meeting recorded 
in his report a statement made by the speaker, the 
Communist Reichstag deputy Schumann, in which the 
fire in the Reichstag was foretold in advance. Investiga- 
tions since made have, however, as the Thiiringer 
Allgemeine Zeitung now states, shown that there is a 
wireless apparatus in the restaurant where the meeting 
was held, and that the landlord, on the basis of the 

I I radio announcement, had sent to tell the speaker in 

the course of his speech that the Reichstag was on fire. 
It has been established that the police officer concerned 
> made an error of one hour in his report, and that 

Schumann only began his speech at about 10.15 P* m * 
It can therefore be taken for granted that he had already 
heard of the radio announcement that the Reichstag 
was on fire.” 

( ' nr. ' 

This is the tweny-first contradiction. 

-On March 7th, 1933, the Vossiche Zeitung stated, on the 


basis of information received from the police : 



106 BROWN BOOK. OF THE HITLER TERROR 

<c Duren, 6.3. — In the German frontier village of Lammer- 
dorf, near the Belgian frontier, a Russian emigrant was ' 
* arrested yesterday evening on suspicion of having been 
concerned in the burning of the Reichstag. Shortly 
before his arrest he had despatched a telegram from a 
Belgian post office to Paris, the contents of which cannot 
as yet be disclosed. On being sent back across the from 
tier by Belgian frontier guards, he was arrested on this 
side of the frontier. Pie admitted during his interroga- 
tion that he came originally from Russia and had been 
living for some time in Berlin. He had severe burns on 
his arms and legs. The mysterious foreigner was to-day 
handed over to the criminal authorities. 

44 He obstinately refuses to say anything more regarding 
his activities in the capital of the Reich, and up to the 
present has not even given his name.” 

On March 8th, 1933, the Vossichf £eitung printed a state- 
ment received from the authorities at Aix-la-Chapelle : 

“ Not an accomplice of the Reichstag incendiary . The authori- 
ties at Aix-la-Chapelle state that the Russian citizen 
who was arrested near Fringshaus as an incendiary, as 
investigations have shown, cannot be implicated. The 
man concerned has been active as a journalist in the 
Communist Party. For this reason he was expelled from 
the country a year ago. But there is no further evidence 
against him. His expulsion has been carried out.” 

This is the twenty-second contradiction. 

Did van der Lubbe alone start the fire? Early in 
March the Hitler Government sent Heisig, a detective 
commissioner, to Leyden, to make investigations, regarding 
van der Lubbe’s antecedents. Heisig gave an interview 
to representatives of the Dutch Press, which was published 
in a number of papers on March 14th. This contains $ie 
following : 


THE REAL INCENDIARIES 


107 

“ As for the important question whether Lubbe had 
assistants or accomplices, it is probable that he alone 
started the fire, but that the preparatory measures had 
been carried out by accomplices.” 

This statement absolutely contradicts the official state- 
ment made on March 1st, that the simultaneous lighting of 
the fire at so many points in the gigantic building must 
have required at least ten persons. The judge in charge 
of the investigation, Vogt, therefore hastened to deny, on , 
March 15th, the statement made by Heisig : 

<c A report has been published in a number of papers that 
van der Lubbe started the fire in the Reichstag by him- 
self. This is not correct. The investigation conducted 
by the court has given good reason to believe that van 
der Lubbe did not commit the crime on. his own initia- 
tive. In the interests of the investigation details cannot 
at present be given.” 

This is the twenty-third contradiction. 

Lubbe’s M Connections ” with the Social Democrats. 

The official Preussische Pressedienst of February 28th, gave 
the information that in his confession, van der Lubbe had 
admitted to connections with the Social Democratic Party. 
On February 28th the Executive of the Social Democratic 
Party issued a statement in the following terms : 

“ During the night of the 27th~28th February, the whole 
Social Democratic Press of Prussia was prohibited for 
fourteen days. The prohibition is based on the state- 
ment that an arrested man has confessed that he started 
the fir# in the Reichstag building and had previously 
had a certain connection with the Social Democratic 
Paj;ty. The suggestion that the Social Democratic Party 

-» would have anything to do with people who set fire to 
the Reichstag is repudiated by the party.” 





108 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

This statement issued by the Executive of the Social 
Democratic Party was confirmed by a statement made by 
the examining magistrate, Judge Vogt, which was pub- 
lished on March 22nd, 1933 ; 

“ The investigation has so far shown that the Dutch 
Communist van der Lubbe, who was arrested as the 
person who set fire to the Reichstag building, was in 
communication immediately before the fire not only 
with German Communists but also with foreign Com- 
munists, including some who had been condemned to 
death or to long terms of penal servitude in connection 
with, the explosion in the Sofia cathedral in 1925. The 
persons concerned are now under arrest. The investi- 
gation has not produced the slightest grounds for believ- 
ing that non-Commnnist circles had any connection 
with the burning of the Reichstag. 5 ’ 

On February 27th van der Lubbers said to have admitted 
connections with the Social Democrats ; on March 22nd 
there were not the slightest grounds for believing this 
assertion. 

This is the twenty-fourth contradiction. 

Van der Lubbe and the Bulgarians. In the statement 
referred to above, Judge Vogt declares that van der Lubbe 
had connections with the people responsible for the Sofia 
cathedral explosion. Van der Lubbe had therefore not only 
performed the miracle of establishing, within 7 days, 
connections with the leaders of the German Communist 
Party, through Communists whom he got to know by 
accident at a labour exchange. He also succeeded, within 
these 7 days, in getting into touch with Bulgarians who are 
said to have been responsible for the Sofia cathedral 
explosion. 

This is the twenty-fifth contradiction. 

The Bulgarians who were arrested and charged with 
complicity in the burning of the Reichstag are : Dimitrov, 
Popoff and Taneff. 


THE REAL INCENDIARIES 


109 ■ [ 

Georg Dimitrov wrfk one of the theoretical leaders of the 
Bulgarian Communist Party. In 1923 he took part in thp • l| 

rising of the Bulgarian workers, and in 1924 he was sen- 
tenced in contumaciam to 15 years 5 hard labour. He has not 
been in Bulgaria since 1923. He had no part whatever in 
the Sofia cathedral explosion. 

Blogoi Popoff emigrated to Jugoslavia in 1924, and only 
returned to Bulgaria at the end of 1930. He also was not 
concerned in the Sofia cathedral' explosion of 1925. 

The third arrested Bulgarian, TanefF, is merely a worker , 
who was not in any way concerned in the Sofia cathedral 
explosion. 

The aim of the assertion— that the arrested Bulgarians 
had blown up the Sofia cathedral — is quite clear. The 
Hitler government hoped to produce the impression that 
the burning of the Reichstag was an international Com- 
munist plot. 

This is the twenty-sixth contradiction. 

The judge in charge of the investigation asserted that 
Dimitrov had been seen with van der Lubbe at 3 p.m. on 
February 26th in a restaurant in the Dusseldorferstrasse. 

The judge also produced a witness, who swore that he had 
seen van der Lubbe with Dimitrov on that date. But the 
witness disappeared into oblivion shortly afterwards : for 
Dimitrov was able to prove that on February 26th he had 
not been in Berlin at all, but in Munich. 

This is the twenty-seventh contradiction. 

No Material for a Great Communist Trial. On March 
27th Judge Vogt stated that a criminal warrant had so 
far been issued only against van der Lubbe. But on April 
3rd he caused a statement to be circulated that, in all, > 

five warrants had been issued in connection with the 
burning of the Reichstag — for van der Lubbe, three Bul- 
garian Communists and the Communist Reichstag deputy 
Torgler. Torgler was arrested on February 28th, the 
Bulgarians on March 3rd. Up to March 27th, that is to say 
during the period when the main enquiries were being 



IIO BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

made, no warrants had been issuecf for Torgler and the 
Bulgarians. The warrants were issued only when the 
announcement that the only criminal warrant issued was 
for van der Lubbe had created a sensation in the Press of 
the world. 

This is the twenty-eighth contradiction. 

Judge Vogt’s statement of April 3rd says that, £< for the 
time being, only warrants for protective arrest have been 
issued in respect of a few other suspected persons.” On 
* June 2nd it was officially announced that : 

<c the preliminary investigation conducted by Judge Vogt 
against the accused van der Lubbe, Torgler, Dimitrov, 
Popoff and Taneff, on charges of setting fire to the 
Reichstag and high treason, was concluded on June 1st. 
Ail the documents have now been sent to the Reich 
Public Prosecutor at Leipzig.” 

r 

On April 3rd there were still “ a few other suspected 
persons.” On June 1st they are no longer there. 

This is the twenty-ninth contradiction. 

On April 22nd Judge Vogt authorised the following 
official statement with regard to the progress of the investi- 
gation : 

<c The Supreme Court proposes to combine the investiga- 
tion in the many pending cases of high treason against 
members of the Communist Party into one single 
enquiry on a large scale. It is expected that the investi- 
gations will be concluded in 8 to xo weeks, so that then 
all the cases of high treason can be dealt with together 
by the Supreme Court. The cases concerned are all 
those arising in connection with the change of govern- 
ment in Germany, that is to say, all crimes during the 
course of January and February. This will also include 
the proceedings connected with the act of incendiarism 
in the Reichstag. This case has so far not made very 
rapid progress owing to the fact that the accused, and 


THE REAL INCENDIARIES 


III 


particularly the Bulgarians, refuse to make any state- 
, merit. The grounds for suspicion of complicity against 

| the Reichstag deputy Torgier have been more securely 

;! ^ established. 95 

! ' A month later, on May 25th, there was no longer any talk 
of a great Communist trial. The Hitler Government was 
forced to issue, through a parliamentary news bureau, the 
news : 

“ That the trial in connection with the act of incendiarism 
in the Reichstag will be associated with other cases 

0 against Communist leaders in a great Communist trial, 
as has been suggested, is not to be expected. The trial 
of van der Lubbe and his accomplices will come before 
the Supreme Court as soon as the necessary preliminary 
labours have been concluded." 

This is the thirtieth contradiction. 

The Vdlkischer Beobachter , Hitler’s official organ, published 
the following statement on March 3rd, as coming from an 
official source : 

“ The chief of the press section of the National Socialist 

1 fraction in the Reichstag discovered a missing pane in 

| the glass roof over the room of the Communist deputy 

j Torgier, and after further search discovered a long 

\ ladder above it, lying against the window of a Com- 

j munis t deputy’s room in the second upper story. 

I u Detective inspectors immediately instituted a thorough 

| search. For it was here that the incendiaries must have 

come down before the crime or got up again after the 
crimes*" 


OncMarch 1st Goering had declared that the incendiaries 
bad got away through the underground passage which 
connects the Reichstag building with Goering’s house. This 


1 12 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 


declaration of his confirmed what rrlany people thought : 
that the Reichstag incendiaries had made their way into 
the Reichstag through his house and had escaped through 
his house. In order to weaken the overwhelming impression 
caused by Goering’s declaration, the chief of the press 
section of the Nazi fraction in the Reichstag was sent to 
discover a missing pane and a ladder. The detective force, 
after three days thorough search, had failed to see what the 
sharp eyes of the leader of the press section discovered in 
, a moment. 

This is the thirty-first contradiction. 

Van der Lubbe Confesses what is Required. Dr. 
Oberfohren stated in his memorandum that Goebbels 5 
plan was to start a series of incendiary acts which were to 
culminate in the burning of the Reichstag. For incendiary 
acts incendiaries are necessary. Van der Lubbe confesses 
that he set fire to the Reichstag. Van der Lubbe confesses 
that on February 25th he tried to set fire to the Berliner 
Schloss. In connection with this the Press of February 27th 
reported : 

c< It has only now become known that a small fire broke 
out on Saturday in an office room on the fifth floor of 
the Berliner Schloss, which was quickly put out by a 
fireman stationed ori the premises. The origin of the 
fire is not yet fully explained. But it is thought to have 
been an act of incendiarism. 

“ An hour before the fire started the caretaker had started 
his round through the Schloss and had even passed 
through that room. At the time there was nothing sus- 
picious to be seen. Soon afterwards the room was in 
flames. Investigation showed that there was a burning 
fire-lighter on the window-sill, and another under the 
window and also on the steam pipes. The police investi- 
gation has not yet been concluded. 55 

Van der Lubbe confesses that on February 25th he tried 
to start a fire in the Welfare Office in Neukolln. Van der 


THE REAL INCENDIARIES 1 13 

Lubbe confesses that < 3 n February 25th he made an attempt 
to start a fire in the Berlin Town Hall, 

This van der Lubbe is a real child of the devil. To start 
fires on one day in three different places in Berlin ! And he is 
a man who only speaks German brokenly. He had only 
arrived in Berlin on February 18th, 1933, Seven days later 
he had sufficient knowledge of the place to start fires in the 
Schloss, in the Town Flail and in the Welfare Office. He only 
required nine days to learn enough about the Reichstag to 
enable him to walk in and out as if it were his own house. 

Van der Lubbe had to appear as a dyed-in- thc-blood 
Communist, Such a Communist, as conceived by Dr. 
Goebbels, must have a forged passport. Consequently van 
der Lubbe must make some alteration in his name on the 
passport. The passport was “ forged 55 by putting two dots 
over the cc u,” changing it into “ u.” 

Van der Lubbe was only too willing to take ct Communist 
leaflets 33 into the Reichstag with him. Certainly no criminal 
has ever met the police so completely equipped with 
4£ credentials.” 

A Talk with Torgler the Day Before the Reichstag 
Fire. As chairman of the Communist fraction in the 
Reichstag, Ernst Torgler was often called upon to answer 
enquiries from the Press and from journalists. At a Press 
conference on February 24th he told the journalists present 
that the Communists had information of an act of provo- 
cation planned by the Nazis. Fie stated that among other 
plans there was talk of staging an attempt to assassinate 
Hitler. The whole of the foreign Press and a section of the 
German Press published Torgler’s statement. Shortly after 
this conference the parliamentary correspondent of the 
Vossische % eitung , Adolf Philippsborn, arranged an inter- 
view witfy, Torgler, and an account of this interview, written 
by Philippsborn, was published in the Gegen-Angrijf of 
July £st, 1933. It runs as follows : 

As a parliamentary journalist I have for many years 
been in contact with deputies belonging to all parties 



1 14 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

in the Reichstag. It so chanced that I had arranged an f 
e interview with Torgler on February 26th, 24 hours 
before the Reichstag fire. Torgler came with his 
daughter, who is 1 1 years of age. As the head of his 
party fraction, I showed him some material on the 
secret plans of the National Socialists. We then talked 
for about two hours about the whole political situation. 

I have never been a sympathiser with the Communist 
Party, and I referred to a number of weaknesses of the 
party. Torgler admitted some of the points, but energeti- 
cally defended the general standpoint of his political 
friends, finally I put the following questions to him : 

44 * There is a rumour going about that the Communists 
propose to take some action against the Nazi Govern- 
ment before the Reichstag elections (March 5th). Is 
this true ? 9 

“ Torgler : 4 That is nonsense. The Government is only 
waiting for such an opportunity *to prohibit the Com- 
munist Party. 9 

46 4 Will the Communist leaders call a strike ? 5 
44 Torgler : 4 Of course we are calling for a political 
mass strike as a means of struggle against Fascist acts 
of violence. But we know that this can only be successful 
if the trade unions withdraw their opposition and line 
up with us in a fighting front. 9 
“ 4 Can this interview then be summed up by saying 
that the Communist Party does not intend to take any 
action which could give the Nazi Government the occa- 
sion for an offensive against the Marxist working 
class ? 9 



Torgler (emphatically and with conviction) : 4 Yes, 
that is the position. We Communists know that by our- 
selves we are too weak for the fight. We know that Hitler, 
Goering and his colleagues are only waiting «for some 
pretext which will give them the opportunity to pro- 
hibit the Communist Party and cancel the mainlates 
of party deputies elected to the Reicnstag. We know 
that we are shadowed by spies, and that our telephone 


THE REAL INCENDIARIES 


1 *5 

conversations are listened to. We are not going to run 
into the trap these gentlemen have prepared for us. J , )\ 

44 On the evening following this conversation the Reichstag 
was in flames, and a few hours later Torgler had been 
arrested as the 4 criminal.’ I then had the conviction, 
and still have it, that Torgler told me the absolute truth. 

And for that reason, although I am an opponent of Com- 
maoism, I am prepared to say it to anyone, including 
Herr Goering, who knows it better than I do, and to the 
judges at the trial. 

44 Hands off Ernst Torgler, he is not guilty ! ” 

The proof of the Nazis* guilt. The contradictions in 
which the Hitler Government became entangled in its 
accounts of the Reichstag fire are by themselves enough to 
show who were the real incendiaries. But apart from these 
contradictions there is direct evidence that the National 
Socialists were guilty of this act of incendiarism. We do not 
propose to print here all the evidence which we have at 
our disposal, but only the most important and striking 
parts of it. 

The fire in the German Reichstag was discovered at 9. 15. 

The mass arrests in Berlin began soon after midnight. 

Almost all the warrants were accompanied with photo- 
graphs of the accused, and the date of issue was inserted in 
ink. On February 28th approximately 1,500 persons were 
arrested in Berlin alone. 

Is it possible to fill out 1 ,500 warrants, sign them, and in 
the majority of cases attach photographs to them, in three 
hours ? Information which we have received from dismissed 
police officials provides the explanation of this promptness. 

The warrants were got ready during the days immediately 
preceding the burning of the Reichstag. Only the date was 
not filled in. By the morning of February 27th all the 
warrants were ready. They were signed before the date was 
filled-* in. 

> On February 22nd the Prussian Government decided to 
strengthen the police with auxiliary police. Only members 



1 


Il6 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

of the so-called national associations, feat is, of the National , 
Socialist storm troops and of the Stahlhelm, were allowed to 
join the auxiliary police. While the control of the auxiliary 
police was left in the hands of the local authorities, the 
Minister of the Interior, Goering, reserved to himself the 
right to control them in Berlin itself. The decision was made 
public on February 27th, the date of the Reichstag fire. 

In the first official announcement of the Reichstag lire, 
Goering triumphantly staled that the organisation of the 
* auxiliary police, for which he was responsible, had proved 
to be justified and necessary. 

The National Socialist leaders and Ministers were not 
content with setting up the auxiliary police. On February 
27th the whole of the storm troop forces in Berlin were 
confined to their quarters and barracks. A member of the 
storm troops, who left Germany at the end of March, gave 
the following information to the Paris Intransigeant : 

e< At noon on February 27th we received the order to 
remain in our quarters until further notice. We were 
strictly forbidden to show ourselves in groups in the 
streets. Only our collectors were allowed out with their 
collecting boxes, and a few others were sent on special 
errands. We did not know what was in the wind, and 
we waited, until suddenly at ten o’clock in the evening 
the order came : All at the double to the Brandenburger 
Tor ! Leave your weapons ! You are wanted for cordon 
duty : the Reichstag is on fire. 

The Berlin group leader Ernst collected a few of us in 
the tavern at the corner of the Wilhelmstrasse and the 
Dorotheenstrasse. He instructed us to go to various 
parts of the town and to spread in the beerhouses and 
at the street corners the story that the Communists had 
set fire to the Reichstag, that definite evidencefoad been 
found — in short, the whole story as it appeared in the 
Press the following day. * 

“ At that time it was not yet known that van der Lubbc 
was a Dutchman and that deputy Torgler had been the 


t 


r 


THE REAL INCENDIARIES 


1 17 

last to leave the Reichstag, This was all told us as an 
absolute fact, and indeed with such definiteness that we 
all felt violently angry with the incendiaries. We rushed 
out, and carried out our tasks with the greatest zeal, 

* The more often 1 told the story, the more detailed it 

| became, and soon 1 felt as if 1 had been an eye-witness 

' of the arson. 55 

Group-leader Ernst has a high position in the Hitler 
hierarchy. But it requires more than a group-leader’s 
intellectual powers to know, by a few minutes after 10 ' 
p.m., that Torgler had been the last to leave the Reichstag. 
Group-leader Ernst was privy to the plan of Goebbels and 
f Goering ; he was allocated the special task of transforming 
the storm troop men into heralds to spread the story of 
the u Communist 55 incendiaries. 

Hitler Betrays Himself, On February 27th, 1933, fire 
broke out in the German Reichstag. On February 27th, 
1933, although the election campaign was at its height, the 
most important National Socialist leaders were in Berlin. 
On February 27th Hitler did not speak at, any meeting. 
On February 27 th Goebbels did not speak at any meeting. 
They were in Berlin with Goering. None of the three had 
any meeting or any work to do that night. 

1 A few minutes after it became known that the Reichstag 

I was on fire, Goering made his appearance on the scene, and 

| Hitler and Goebbels were there a few minutes later. Sefton 

I Dehner, the Berlin correspondent of the. Daily Express , one 

) of the few English papers to back Hitler, was in their com- 
■ pany. And the report he sent to the Daily Express is more 
damaging than any published by papers hostile to Hitler. 

Sefton Delmer describes the scene at the Reichstag, 
perhaps twenty to thirty minutes after the fire had been 
I discovered. Hitler is reported as having turned to von 
! Papen and said : 

y “ This is a God-given signal 1 If this fire, as I believe, 
turns out to be the handiwork of Communists, then 

f 


-W 


1 1 8 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

there is nothing that shall stop r us now crushing out 
this murder pest with an iron fist.” 

Then turning to Sefton Delmer, he said : 

c< You are witnessing the beginning of a great new epoch 
in German history. This fire is the beginning.” 

The Chancellor of the Third Reich spoke these words at 
a time when the “ guilt ” of the Communists could not have 
* been established, when van der Lubbe was only just being 
interrogated with the help of an interpreter. According to 
unanimous Press reports, the interrogation of van der 
Lubbe, which began immediately after his arrest, continued 
into the early hours of the morning. Van der Lubbe was 
arrested at about 9.20 p.m. At the time when Hitler spoke 
the words quoted above, van der Lubbe could not have 
made his “ comprehensive confession ” which might have 
served Hitler as the ground for his accusations against 
the Communists. Hitler’s lack of self-control made him 
put the blame on the Communists a little too early ; he 
did not wait for his cue. 

An Ally Charges the Nazis with the Act of Arson. The 
Deutsche Allgemeine Z titling , the organ of heavy industry, 
had been demanding since 1930 that Hitler should be 
entrusted with the government. Heavy industry was then 
trying to make the German Nationalists believe that Hitler 
would be content to share power with them. 

The first weeks of the National Government’s existence 
brought out the sharp contradictions within the Coalition 
government. Oberfohren’s memorandum shows these con- 
tradictions clearly. The Deutsche Allgemeine Z e ^ un E tried to 
strengthen the position of the German Nationalises, In the 
early stages it spared no criticism of the National Govern- 
ment. And soon after the Reichstag fire, when the National 
Socialists became preponderant in the Coalition Government^ 
it even went so far as to assert that Goering’s statements 


THE REAL INCENDIARIES 


“9 

were untrue and to* express doubts of the guilt of the 
Communists, On March 2nd the following appeared in the 
paper : 

i <fi From a political standpoint there is only one quite 

uncomprehensible point about the Reichstag fire : that 
a Communist could have been found who was so foolish 
as to commit the crime. Apart from a few speeches, 
newspaper articles and proposals put forward, up to 
now we have seen very little of any united front between 
the Communists and the Social Democrats. It is ex- ' 
tremely improbable that such a united front could have 
been widened out to achieve an act of incendiarism 
* in the German Reichstag. We fear that closer examina- 

tion of the presuppositions for the well-known state- 
ment made by the Minister of the Interior will show that 
the charge he made cannot be maintained. If that is the 
case, it would hav£ been better not to have raised it.” 

This is not from a Marxist journal, but from the journal 
of heavy industry. A few months after the Reichstag fire, 
the Deutsche Allgemeine Zeitmg was “ brought into con- 
formity.” Its chief editor was removed ; not before Hugen- 
berg also sank into the background. But though the article 
failed to prevent the break-up of the German Nationalist 
Party, it is nevertheless significant that an ally of Hitler 

I should expose Goering’s lie and cast doubt on the guilt of 
the Communists. 

* Why did Goering leave the Reichstag unprotected ? The 
messages issued by the official Preussische Presscdienst on 
February 28th stated that among the material found in 
Karl Liebknecht House there were instructions for setting 
fire to the Reichstag. The search of Karl Liebknecht House 
took place on February 24th. Already on February 24th 
| and 25th the whole of the bourgeois Press was in an uproar 

9ver the alleged murderous plans of the Communists. The 
I police president of Berlin made a report to Goering on 


I 



120 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

February 26th on the material alleged to have been found 
in the catacombs of Karl Liebknecht House. As Minister of T 
fhe Interior, Goering was in control of the Prussian police. 
As president of the Reichstag, Goering was in control of the 
Reichstag building. There was no one else in such a position 
as he was in to protect the Reichstag against any plot. There 
was no one whose duty to do this was greater than his. 

Goering neither called on the police to protect the 
Reichstag, nor did he take any protective measures within 
the Reichstag itself. If the material alleged to have been 
found was real, then at the very least Herr Goering is 
guilty of abetting the crime. The only conclusion that can 
be drawn from the fact that the documents alleged to have 
been found in the Karl Liebknecht House have not yet been 
published, as also from the fact that Goering took no steps 
to protect the Reichstag, is : that the material from the 
Karl Liebknecht House existed only in the reports of the 
official Preussiscke Pressedienst . The r Communists neither 
intended, nor did they make any preparations, to set fire to 
the Reichstag. The incendiaries were National Socialists. 

Goering sends home the Reichstag officials. Goering 
not only took no steps to protect the Reichstag building ; he 
also saw to it that the Reichstag officials left the Reichstag 
before the normal time for finishing duty. On February 27th 
the National Socialist inspector of the building released the 
officials on duty at one o’clock in the afternoon. The staff 
told him that it was contrary to the terms of their employ- 
ment to leave before the end of their spell of duty. The 
National Socialist inspector told them to go off duty* as 
there was nothing to do. 

Early in March the foreign Press published the informa- 
tion that the staff of the Reichstag had been released from 
their duties at an early hour on February 27th. Xhc Hitler 
Government has not dared to deny this. 

Fire-Brigade Director puts the blame on Goering. Op 

March 24th the surprising announcement was made that 


j 


I 



THE REAL INCENDIARIES 121 

the chief firc-brigadeoiirector of Berlin, Gernpp, had been 
provisionally granted leave of absence, as he had tolerated 
Communist intrigues in the service. The Communist 
intrigues which Gempp was supposed to have tolerated 
consisted in. the fact that in a conference with the inspectors 
and men of the fire-brigade he had made statements in 
connection with the Reichstag fire which threw a curious 
light on Gocring’s attitude at the scene of the fire. Gempp’s 
statements concerned the three following essential points : 

“ In a conference with his inspectors and officers shortly 
before his dismissal, Herr Gernpp complained that the 
fire-brigade had been summoned too late. This was the 
only explanation of why a storm troop detachment some 
twenty men strong was already on the scene of the fire 
by the time that the fire-brigade at last appeared. 

u Herr Gempp complained further that the Minister of 
the Interior, Goering, had expressly forbidden him to 
circulate a general call and thereby to summon stronger 
forces to fight the fire. 

“ Finally, Herr Gempp had noticed that in the parts of the 
Reichstag building which were not destroyed there were 
great masses of unused incendiary material lying about ; 
in fact, in various rooms and under and in cupboards, 
etc., there was material which would have completely 
filled a lorry.” 

The above report was published in the Saarbriickener 
Volksstimme of April 25 th, 1933, and thence found its way 
into the Press of the world. Goering did not reply to the 
report published by the Saarbriickener Volksstimme — not even 
by denying that the report was true. He used it as an 
opportunity of accusing Gempp of disloyalty. The Deutsche 
Allgemeine^eitung of April 29th, 1933, reports how Goering 
reacted to the disclosure made by the Volksstimme : 

“ Disciplinary Action against Director Gempp. We 
have received the following from Commissioner Dr. 


122 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

Lippert : Fire-brigade director Gempp, chief of the 
Berlin fire-brigade, who was provisionally granted leave ' 
* of absence by Dr. Lippert, State Commissioner, was 
accused of having tolerated Communist intrigues in the 
service under his control. Gempp then requested that 
disciplinary proceedings should be started against him. 
This request was not granted at the time, in view of the 
fact that Gempp was suspected of other offences. Dis- 
ciplinary proceedings , have now been opened against 
him, as he is charged with dereliction of duty under 
section 266 of the Criminal Code in connection with the 
purchase of a motor car through one of the functionaries 
at that time, the Social Democrat councillor Ahrens.” 

It is not only in the Gempp case that the National 
Socialists have used the tactics of getting rid of dangerous 
opponents by means of criminal charges. 

From the charges brought by Gempp against Goering 
it is clear that Goering was interested in the spreading of the 
fire, and not in putting it out. The National Socialists 
intended to use the incendiary act to deal a deadly blow 
against Marxism. With this in view, it was necessary that 
the damage done by the fire should be as great and im- 
pressive as possible, and therefore it was not to be put out 
too soon. Three days after the fire the building was opened 
for the public to see the effect. The same National Socialist 
inspector of the building who had sent the staff away early 
on February 27th was now the official guide through the 
ruined building. Tens of thousands of people crowded in to 
see the sight. The guide explained 44 in an expert way ” how 
the fire had been started by the Communists, and he did 
not omit to amplify his description with atrocity stories of 
what the Communists had intended to do. 

Goering, who had not the courage himself to (Jjeny what 
the Saarbruckener Volksstimme reported, compelled Gempp to 
issue a dementi, Gempp seems to have refused to do, so for 
some time. It was only on June 18th, 1933, that a statement 
by him appeared in the German Press, in which he declared 


THE REAL INCENDIARIES 123 

that the report published in the Volksstimme was false. There 
are some dementis which establish the truth of the report 
that is denied , and Gempp’s delayed dementi is one of this 
kind. Under the pressure of the charges made against him, 
and from fear of the sentence of imprisonment with which 
he was threatened, Gernpp gave way to Gocring’s threats. 

Where are the instigators of the fire? In the second 
March number of the conservative weekly journal Der 
Ring , which is edited by Heinrich von Gleichen, we find ; 

<c The fire in the Reichstag led to extremely severe 
counter-measures by the Government of the Reich. The 
authorities are maintaining a state of preparedness for 
all eventualities. The public and the leading articles in 
the Press are asking : Plow was it possible ? Are we then 
really a nation of blind hens ? Where are the instigators 
of this fire, whose cesults show how sure they were of 
their aims ? To give a single answer to all questions, we 
must say in all seriousness and to the point : We have 
no secret service such as the English and other nations 
have. . . . 

tc If we had such an institution, then we should by now 
know exactly where the instigators of the Reichstag 
fire were to be found, in fact, we should already know 
the actual persons. They are perhaps members of the best 
German international society .” (Our emphasis. Editors.) 

Heinrich von Gleichen is one of the most influential 
members of the Herrenklub . Since Papen was Chancellor, 
von Gleichen has been one of the wire-pullers of the 
Government’s policy. His connections with the President’s 
palace are more than excellent. In the extract quoted by us 
from the* Ring, von Gleichen openly charges the Hitler 
Government with not having done anything to clear up the 
Reichstag fire. Pie asks : Where are the instigators of this 
%*e, whose results show how sure they were of their aims ? 
Gan anything else be meant by this than that the National 

f 





124 brown book of the hitler terror 

Socialists organised the fire, in order*confidently to win one- 
position of power after the other ? 

* After this issue, the Ring was prohibited. 

Dr. Bell tells tales out of school. Elsewhere in this 
book an exact account is given of Dr. Bell’s death at the 
hands of the Nazis. Here we deal only with his role in 
connection with the Reichstag lire. We do not propose to 
rely on the reports which state that before the Reichstag 
fire, between 8 and 9 on February 27th, Dr. Bell told Eng- 
lish and American journalists that the Reichstag was on 
fire. This •statement was deliberately circulated by the 
Hitler Government. The Nazis wanted a favorable oppor- 
tunity for a dementi and for thus discrediting what Dr. Bell 
had really stated. 

Dr. Bell knew van der Lubbe very well, and he was also 
kept closely informed by van der Lubbe of the connections 
he had formed with Nazi circles fci Munich and Berlin. 
Although for about a year Dr. Bell had been hostile to the 
National Socialist Party, he still had a number of men 
within the party who kept him informed. He knew exactly 
what had taken place in connection with the Reichstag fire. 
In the National Club in the Friedrich-Ebertstrasse, on 
March 3rd or 4th, Bell betrayed what he knew about the 
Reichstag fire to a politician belonging to the People’s 
Party. This politician wrote to some of his friends telling 
them the information, which Bell had given him, as to who 
were the real incendiaries. One of these letters fell into the 
hands of Dalueges, the chief of the secret police. 

The letter cost Bell his life. On April 3rd he was mur- 
dered in the village of Kufstein in Austria, by Nazis who 
went there from Munich. 

The Murder of Hanussen. The clairvoyant Erik 
Hanussen gave a house-warming party, on the day before 
the Reichstag fire, at his new fiat in Berlin, Ljetzen- 
burgstrasse 16, which he called the Palace of Occultism* 
Some of the Nazi leaders were present on this occasion, 



THE REAL INCENDIARIES 


125 


^including Count HelMorf, leader of the Berlin Nazis,, as 
well as artists, actors and journalists. Among them there 
j'. . was also a reporter of the Berliner 12-Uhr-Blatt . In the seance 

■ which Hanussen staged, he said, among other things : u I 
i see a great house burning.” 

In the first March number of his weekly paper, Harms - 
sens Bunie Wochensch.au , Hanussen printed an article on the 
political situation. He wrote in this article that he had 
known in advance of the Reichstag lire, but that he was not 
able to speak openly of it. 

It is clear that some leading Nazi must have given 
Hanussen information before the Reichstag fire, which en- 
# ( abled Hanussen to fiC foresee 55 it. Hanussen must have 
known a great deal. This is clear from a sworn deposition 
given us by Dr. Franz Hollering, formerly editor of the 
Berliner i 2 ~Uhr~BlatL 

** The undersigned, Dr. Franz Hollering, hereby declares 
on oath : In my capacity as editor-in-chief of the 
Berliner 12-Uhr-Blait and of the Montag Morgen , I was 
brought into touch, between February 1st and March 
4th, 1933, with Erik Hanussen, as the publisher of his 
National Socialist clairvoyant journal, which was set 
up and printed in the same printing works as the papers 
named above. I did not get to know Hanussen person- 
i ally, but I had a telephone conversation with him on 

I one occasion when he was trying to get into touch with 

j the business manager of the printing works and the 

\ editor Roli Niirnberg, who were not there at the time. 

| That was in the night of February 27th, the night of 

I the burning of the Reichstag. The first report of the 

discovery of the fire had hardly reached the office when 
1 Hanussen rang up on the telephone. He wanted to 

j know from me how far the fire had spread and whether 

I the incendiaries had been caught. I replied that an 

I unconfirmed report had reached me about a Communist 

I • troop which was alleged to have set fire to the Reich- 

stag with the help of torches. At the same time I pointed 

i* 

1 

j 


# 


126 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

out that this report was incredible. I said in so many # 
4 words that the Communists, particularly in the existing 
political situation, would never have committed such a 
suicidal act of folly. Hanussen replied in an excited 
voice that he was of quite the opposite opinion, that 
he knew it was a Communist plot, and that I would very 
soon see the consequences. This call came through 
between 9.30 and 9.45. I made enquiries of my staff, 
which knew of Hanussen’s close connections with Count 
Helidorf, particularly through his frequent telephone 
calls to the printing works. Hanussen was generally 
regarded as exceptionally well informed on National 
Socialist plans. 

“ ( Signed ) Dr. Franz Hollering. 59 

Thus at a time when the first vague reports of the fire 
in the Reichstag had only just reached the editorial offices 
of the newspapers, Hanussen was Already saying that the 
fire had been started by the Communists and that it would 
have serious consequences. This statement of Iianussen 5 s 
shows more clearly than anything else that his informant is 
to be found in high Nazi circles. 

The Jew Hanussen did not long enjoy the rule of Hitler 
which he had so earnestly desired. On April 7th, 1933, his 
body was found in a little wood by the side of the Baruth- 
Neuhof road. He had died at the hands of the Nazis. 

The Third Man who Knew the Secret. After Bell, 
Hanussen. Alter Hanussen, Dr. Oberfohren. Of these 
three persons who knew the secret of the burning of the 
Reichstag, Dr. Oberfohren was the most dangerous. Bell 
could be got rid of as a political adventurer, Hanussen as a 
charlatan. Dr. Oberfohren was an influential politician, 
leader of the German Nationalist fraction in the Reichstag. 
In February 1933 he had declared in an election speech 
that the Hitler Government would continue to exist* in its 
then composition, whatever the results of the election. 
Events after February 27th shook his belief that the National 


f 


r 


THE REAL INCENDIARIES 


127 


I Socialists would stand by the undertaking sworn by Hitler 
on January 30th. Dr. Oberfohren put; forward within the , 
German Nationalist Party the proposal that it should begin 
the fight against Hitler's policy of concentrating power in 
' his own hands. In order to win his friends for this fight he 
recorded what he knew of the Reichstag fire and of the 
struggle within the Cabinet, in the memorandum which has 
already been quoted. The following description by Dr. 
Oberfohren deals with what happened after the Reichstag 
fire. 



The German Nationalists and the Fire. * However 
much the German Nationalist Party is in agreement 
with the sharpest measures against the Communists, it 
cannot approve of the act of incendiarism carried out 
by its coalition friends. It is true that the Cabinet 
meeting on Tuesday agreed to the sharpest measures 
against the Commifnists, and partly also against the 
Social Democrats. However, no doubt was left that the 
act of incendiarism would most seriously damage the 
reputation of the national front abroad. In this meeting 
of the Cabinet the sharpest expressions of condemnation, 
were not spared. The National Socialist Ministers did 
not succeed in pressing through the prohibition of the 
Communist Party. As already said above, the German 
Nationalists needed the Communist deputies in order 
to prevent the National Socialists from having an 
absolute majority in Parliament. At this Cabinet meet- 
ing Herr Goering was strictly forbidden to produce in 
public his forged material from Karl Liebknecht House. 
It was pointed out that the publication of these crude 
forgeries would only make things still worse for the 
Government. It was particularly inconvenient for the 
Government that the Communist deputy Torgler, 
leader of the Communist fraction in the Reichstag, had 
put» himself at the disposal of the police on Tuesday 
9 morning. His Eight would have been preferable. The 
fact that, after thousands of Communist functionaries 


i f 


I: 


\ 


A: 


128 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

had been arrested and in spite of the threat of a court- 
, martial, he had presented himself to the police was 
extremely inconvenient for the Government. Herr 
Goering was commissioned to deny that Torgler had 
given himself up voluntarily. The echo in the world 
Press, however, which followed the Reichstag fire, was 
so unexpectedly unanimous in attributing the act of 
incendiarism to leading members of the government 
that the prestige of the National Government was most 
seriously shaken. 

“ However convenient it was for Goering and Goebbels 
that th # e Communist and Social Democratic election 
propaganda had been silenced, however well they knew 
that the broad mass of lower middle-class persons, clerks 
and peasants would believe the story of the Reichstag 
fire and would consequently give their votes to the 
National Socialist Party as the leader of the fight against 
Bolshevism, they were seriously fiisturbed at the attitude 
of the German Nationalist Ministers in the Cabinet. 
Once again they did not get the prohibition of the 
Communist Party. In spite of their boundless preten- 
sions, they felt that they were held in an iron embrace 
by the German Nationalists, the Stahlhelm and the 
Reichswehr. It was clear to them that they must get 
out of this embrace as soon as possible. They discussed 
all kinds of proposals. 

Finally the groups decided to make a bid for power by a 
coup in the night of March gth-6th. The plan was to 
occupy the Government quarter and demand from 
Hindenburg a change in the composition of the Cabinet. 
In this event, Hindenburg was to appoint Adolf Hitler 
to take over the functions of President of the Reich, 
and at the same time Hitler was to appoint Goering 
Chancellor. The discussions led up to the decision to 
carry through the plan in connection with a great 
propaganda march of Nazi storm troops and protective 
corps through Berlin, at which Hitler would take the 
salute, on Friday, March 3rd. This great propaganda 


THE REAL INCENDIARIES 


129 


march was then 'organised. Numbers of provincial 
storm troop sections arrived in Berlin ; the streets were 
cleared by the police for the triumphal march ; traffic 
was diverted, and thousands of people crowded to the 
Wilhelms trasse to see the march past the leader Adolf 
Hitler. As rumours had been gaining ground that the 
Government quarter was to be occupied in the course of 
this march, at the last moment the German Nationalist 
Minist ers in the Cabinet insisted that Adolf Hitler should 
abandon the march past in the Wilhelmstrasse. The 
thousands waiting in the Wilhelmstrasse were suddenly 
told, to their astonishment, that the Nazi march would 
follow another route and would not touch the Wilhelm- 
strasse, but would go through the Prinz-Albrechtstrasse 
into the west of the town. However, the German Nation- 
alists were obliged to agree, for their part, to abandon 
a Stahlhelm march through the Government quarter, 
which had been announced for the day of the elections 
as an act of homage to Hindenburg. The Stahlhelm 
leaders agreed to the change. 

“ The position was extremely serious for the German 
Nationalist Ministers. The election results in Lippe- 
Detmokl had shown how great the danger was that 
German National electors would pass over to the 
National Socialists in a body. German Nationalist 
propaganda could not compete with the unrestrained 
propaganda carried on by the National Socialists. The 
Herrenklub, the groups connected with the Stahl- 
helm, and the German Nationalist leaders discussed 
the position. After the occupation of the Government 
quarter on March 3rd had been averted, it was neces- 
sary to prepare for the threatened coup on the night of 
March 5th-6th with more than the Reichswehr and the 
Stahllylm. It was clear that the masses were now no 
longer behind the old Field Marshal, but behind their 
idqj Adolf Hitler. It would be futile to oppose these 
# masses and the sentiment of the masses merely by the 
use of arms. It was therefore necessary to act as 
Et 


• * 


130 


BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 


unscrupulously as Goering and Goebbels had done in 
connection wife the Reichstag fire. The following plan 
was made. An official statement was to be made public 
dealing with the results so far arrived at in the enquiry 
m connection with the Reichstag incendiaries. This 
statement was so worded that if necessary it would be 
possible to refer to it to show that they were already 
then on the tracks of the National Socialist criminals. 
I his official statement could then be used for the Press 
on the night of March 5th-6th as a weapon against the 
National Socialist Ministers, if these really attempted 
to carry out their plan of occupying the Government 
quarter. It was hoped by these means to throw the 
National Socialist masses into confusion and if possible 
to wm them for the national front under the leadership 
of the German Nationalists and for Hindenburg : to 
disclose the plans for the forcible seizure of power • to 
accuse Goering, Hitler and Goebbels of the act of incen- 
diarism in the Reichstag, on the basis of the official 
commumquS already issued ; and to call on the millions 
of National Socialists to stand united behind Field 
Marshal Hindenburg to save the national front against 
Manasm. It was hoped by these means to make the 
national masses prepared to accept a military dictator- 
ship under Hindenburg. Hindenburg himself was not to 
be present at the Stahlhelm demonstration, but was to 
spend the night of March 5th-6th outside of Berlin 
under the protection of the Reichswehr, and the Reichs- 
wehr itself was to be mobilised for action.” 


Murderer and Incendiary, 

memorandum : 


Dr. Oberfohren wrote in his 


‘ In the meantime, the men charged by Herr Goering, 
under the leadership of Heines, Silesian storm troop 
leader and Reichstag deputy, passed along the heating 
passages from the palace of the President of the Reichs- 
tag and through the underground passage into the 


THE REAL INCENDIARIES 


*3 l 

Reichstag* The point at which each of the selected storm 
troop and protective corps leaders was to start a fire 
was arranged in detail. A general rehearsal had been 
held the previous day. Van der Lubbe went with them 
as the fifth or sixth man. When the observation posts 
in the Reichstag sent word that the air was clear, the 
incendiaries set to work. The starting of the fire was 
completed within a few minutes. Then, their work 
accomplished, they made their way back by the same 
route as they had come. Van der Lubbe alone remained 
behind in the Reichstag building. 5 ’ 

Dr. Oberfohren’s statement that Heines was in charge of 
the incendiary column, is confirmed from other sources, 
including Dr, Bell. Heines was specially suitable for this 
4 4 work 55 : he murders when he is told to, he shoots when 

he is told to, and he sets fire when he is told to. 

» 

The Incendiaries’ Base. Even if Goering’s tools had 
prepared the act of provocation more carefully, and had 
not made the whole series of contradictions which in them- 
selves are overwhelming evidence of the Nazis 5 guilt, the 
case against the Nazis would still be clear to all eyes to 
see. 

The Vossische Zeitung of March ist, 1933, contains the 
following statement, emanating from Government sources : 

“ It is stated that there is irrefutable evidence that deputy 
Torgler, chairman of the Communist fraction in the 
Reichstag, was in the Reichstag building for several 
hours with the incendiary, and that he had also been 
in company with other persons who participated in the 
incendiary act. It is added that the other criminals 
may h%ve been able to escape through the underground 
passage used in connection with the heating equipment 
of the Reichstag, which connects the Reichstag building 

# itself with the building of the President of the Reichs- 
tag. 59 




r 3 2 BROWN book of the hitler TERROR 

As we have already said, there is In fact an underground 
, passage leading from the Reichstag building to the house 
ot the President of the Reichstag. At the time" of the Reichs- 
tag fire the occupant of this house to which the under- 
ground passage leads was Hermann Goering. He occupies 
the house through which, according to his own version 
the criminals escaped. 5 

Hermann Goering is not only Prime Minister of Prussia 
Minister of Police and President of the Reichstag. Hermann 
Goering is also one of the chiefs of the storm troop organi- 
sation. Hermann Goering has at his disposal a special 
storm ^detachment, storm detachment G. His house is 
constantly guarded by a staff guard consisting of at least 
thirty men. 

The official Preussische Pressedienst announced that at 
least seven men must have been concerned in bringing die 
incendiary material into the Reichstag, and the actual 
operation of starting the fire mu?t have taken ten men. 
If we accept this statement, at least ten men must have been 
concerned in the fire. ‘ 

It can be safely assumed that the fire was started at a 
number of different points in different parts of the building. 
Otherwise it would be impossible to explain the rapidity 
with which the fire spread in the huge building. To start 
the fire at several points required a considerable quantity 
of inflammable material, weighing several hundredweight. 
In his report to fire-brigade inspectors and men, Director 
Gcmpp stated that after the fire he observed a considerable 
quantity of incendiary material which had not been used 
and that a lorry would have been required to carry it! 
Phis statement by Director Gempp confirms the assumption 
that the incendiaries must have taken a large quantity 
of incendiary material into the Reichstag. 

How was the Incendiary Material Taken into the 
Reichstag ? We have given a description of the obstacles 
a visitor has to overcome in order to get into the Reichstag. 
Visitors are only admitted through door 5. They have to 



,*'*$*, 




Section Plan of the German Reichstag building. 

•n trance to the underground passage leading to Goering’s house 
is just above the word “ Sitzungssaal.” 


134 brown book of the hitler terror 

pass through a series of officials. Can it be imagined that-' 
between seven and ten men carrying several hundred- 
weight of incendiary material can have slipped into the 
Reichstag without being noticed by a single one of the 
Reichstag officials ? Even the most prejudiced observer 
must admit that no incendiary and no group of incendiaries 
could have dared to bring in the material through door 5. 

The case is just the same with the so-called deputies 9 
entrance, door 2. Only deputies are allowed to enter by 
this door. The idea that deputies could have brought 
hundredweights of incendiary material past the officials 
at door 2 is no less absurd than the idea that the material 
could have been brought in by door 5. 

The incendiaries would therefore have been obliged to 
choose some other way, a secret way, which would allow 
them to bring the material into the Reichstag and distribute 
it at the points required. There is such a secret way into the 
Reichstag, namely, the underground passage which con- 
nects the house of the President of the Reichstag with the 
Reichstag building itself. This underground passage was the 
strategic route for the incendiaries. 

But anyone who wants to use the underground passage to 
the Reichstag was obliged first to pass through Goering’s 
house, the house of the President of the Reichstag. Pie was 
therefore obliged to get. past the guards who were con- 
stantly watching Goering’s house. Pie would also have had 
to run the risk of being seen by someone in Goering’s house. 

Is it conceivable that Communists could have got into 
Goering’s house and through it and through the under- 
ground passage, without being stopped and arrested by the 
guard of 30 men ? Is it conceivable that Communists 
could have taken hundredweights of incendiary material 
through Goering’s house without having been stopped and 
arrested by the guard ? Is it conceivable that Communists 
could have escaped through Goering’s house ? 

It is out of the question. Any Communist who in those 
days of February had tried to enter Goering’s house would 
without doubt have been arrested. It was impossible for 


135 


the real incendiaries 

Communists to reach 'the Reichstag by way of Goering’s 
house and the underground passage. But for whom then 
was it possible ? 

Only leading National Socialists could have entered 
Goering’s house without attracting attention and without 
arousing even the slightest suspicion. Many meetings took 
place in' this house between Goering and the leading officials 
of the National Socialist Party. No storm troop man would 
have thought of stopping men who held high positions in 
his party and whom he often saw visiting Goering’s house. 
There was no danger for such people ; they could go in and 
out as they lilted. This is true of all the higher pfficials. 
They could have brought the incendiary material re- 
quired in small quantities without any difficulty and without 
attracting any attention. The guards would not have noticed 
anything if a number oi chests described as documents 
or even as “ arms ” had been delivered to the basement of 
the house. (The transport of arms was taking place in those 
days wherever there was a Nazi headquarters.) 

Goering’s house was the key position for the attack on the 
Reichstag. Whoever controlled Goering’s house could do 
what he "liked to the Reichstag building. Goering’s house 
was the bridge head from which the incendiary column 
advanced to "the assault. Goering’s house was the depot 
where the incendiary material was stored. Goering’s house 
was the safe port into which the criminals could flee when 
they had perpetrated their crime. 

The Incendiary Column. We said above that only 
leading National Socialists could have entered Goering’s 
house without arousing suspicion. Dr. Oberfohren also 
speaks of selected leaders of the storm troops and pro- 
tective corps. It is clear that the National Socialist leader- 
ship which devised and organised the plan of the Reichstag 
fire were very much interested in seeing that the carrying 
out of the plan was entrusted to their most reliable prse- 
tftrians. Goebbels and Goering could not put themselves 
into the hands of any storm troop members ; they could 



I36 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

not run the risk that some discontented storm troop man « 
plight expose the real incendiaries. Therefore they had to 
seek their accomplices in the ranks of the highest officials 
of the party. Men had to be found who on the one hand 
would not shrink from any crime, and on the other were 
so closely linked with the National Socialist leadership 
and with their fate that they could not be suspected of any 
treachery. And the ranks of the leaders of the National 
Socialist Party leadership are full of persons who satisfy 
* these conditions. We know from Dr. Oberfohren’s memoran- 
dum that the murderer Heines was put in charge of the 
incendiary column. 

How Was the Incendiary Act Carried Out? The 
incendiary column assembled in Goering’s house. Heines, 
Schulz, Helldorf and the others could get past the guards 
without interference, as they were known as storm troop 
leaders. Van der Lubbe probably went in with Count 
Helldorf. 

The first task which had to be carried out was the 
transport of the incendiary material, for which purpose the 
incendiaries used the underground passage to the Reichstag 
from Goering’s house. It is probable that several journeys 
had to be made. They began their operations at an agreed 
signal which told them that the last deputy had left the 
Reichstag. There was no danger of discovery by the Reichs- 
tag officials on duty, for these had been sent home by the 
Nazi inspector before the end of their spell of duty. The 
distribution of the incendiary material at the various points, 
and pouring petrol, benzine, etc., over it, must have taken 
some little time, at least twenty minutes. Then the fire was 
started at the different points. 

The first reports issued by the police and the fire brigade 
spoke of seven to ten incendiaries and of the fire having 
started at many points. No one in Germany believed that the 
incendiaries had got into the Reichstag in the usu&l way 
and had left by the usual way. The question was raised?'; 
How did the incendiaries escape ? Any careless talk by a 


THE REAL INCENDIARIES 1 37 

'policeman, any careless talk from the fire brigade, any 
newspaper report might create an alarming position. 
Goering was in an extremely difficult situation. He resorted 
to an old trick. Before anyone else suggested that the 
incendiaries must have escaped through the underground 
passage, Goering wanted to say it himself. He hoped thereby 
to meet the imminent danger, to present something that 
was highly suspicious as quite harmless. Goering himself 
stated that the incendiaries had escaped through the under- 
ground passage. But later he bitterly regretted that he had 
said this. The trick had not come off. And so this under- 
ground passage to Goering’s house was never again men- 
tioned in any Minister’s speech or in any official report. 
Goering’s statement was to be forgotten. 

We have not forgotten it. It is a fact that the incendiaries 
escaped through the underground passage, but they could 
only use this passage because they knew it led to Goering’s 
house. Goering’s house meant safety. The official Preussische 
Pmsediensl of February 28th stated that the incendiaries 
had full knowledge of the building. Who other than 
Goering’s friends were in the best position to gain full 
knowledge, to examine and test the underground passage ? 
Goering was master in the Reichstag. He could give his 
friends information about every corner of it. He was master 
in the palace of the President; of the Reichstag. He could 
receive his friends there. He could arrange a store and hiding 
place for the incendiary material. He was Prussian Minister 
of the Interior. He controlled the police throughout 
Prussia. All the possibilities of organising the burning of the 
Reichstag were in the hands of Goering. 

Van der Lubbe in the Burning Reichstag. The Preus- 
sische Pressedienst tried to persuade the public that van der 
Lubbe hatl been unable to escape because he did not know 
the building. According to Goering and the Preussische 
PresseSenst all of van der Lubbe’s accomplices were quite 
familiar with the building ; it would have been easy for 
them to take van der Lubbe with them and to “ save ” 



t 


t 


I38 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

him. But van der Lubhe could not be “saved” He had to be left- 
behind in the burning Reichstag, and was left behind, 
because he was the evidence against the Communists . 

Van der Lubbe played his part to the best of his ability. 
He let himself be arrested in the burning building. He had 
discarded his shirt and coat so as to present a <c true 
picture 35 of a “ Communist incendiary.” He confessed to 
having set fire to the Reichstag. He confessed to any act of 
incendiarism required : ill the Welfare Office in Neukolln, 

• in the Berlin Town Hall, in the Berliner Schloss, And van 
der Lubbe will confess to everything which his employers 
ask him to confess. He will say against Torgler whatever his 
employers tell him to say. He will say against Dimitrov 
everything that is wanted. He will inculpate everyone 
whom his National Socialist friends wish to destroy. He 
will exculpate everyone whom his National Socialist friends 
wish to protect. 

Hermann Goering. But all of van der Lubbe’s con- 
fessions could not prevent the failure of the second task 
which had been entrusted to him : by giving himself 
up and confessing, to shelter the real incendiaries. The 
figure of van der Lubbe was too small for this ; his role was 
too obvious. Everyone saw through the trick ; they realised 
that behind van der Lubbe was Captain Hermann Goering, 
one of the storm troop chiefs, Minister of the German 
Reich, Premier and Minister of the Interior of Prussia, 
President of the German Reichstag. Captain Goering was 
born in Rosenheim, Bavaria, on January 12 th, 1893. His 
biographers tell us of his heroic deeds as an airman during 
the war. They forget to add that his flights were carried 
out when he was under the influence of morphia. Goering’s 
biographers tell us that in 1925-26 he was in Stockholm 
working for an aeroplane company. They forget to add 
that Hermann Goering, according to the official reports of 
the Stockholm police, was put into the asylum at Laligbro, 
because a doctor had certified him to be of unsound mind. 
He was subsequently taken to the Konradsberg Hospital 




I40 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

near Stockholm, but as a result of his~conduct he was taken . 
back to Langbro and there kept shut up. He could no longer 
be kept in private mental homes, because the staff were 
unwilling to look after him. And in Langbro he had such 
bad attacks that he had to be put into the section for serious 
cases. All the attempts made by Goering to deny these 
facts are vain, as we have a photograph of the official 
registration card recording Goering’s admission to the 
Langbro asylum. «■ 

* Goering’s biographers like to record his marriage with 
Karin von Fock. She had previously been married to a 
Swede, Captain Kantzow. After the divorce the former 
couple had a lawsuit over the guardianship of their son 
Thomas. During the court proceedings on April 22nd, 1926, 
a certificate signed by the police doctor Karl A. Lundberg 
was submitted ; we print a photograph of this certificate, 
which says in so many words that Goering is seriously 
addicted to drugs. Goering’s morphia craving has therefore 
been established before the courts. The court decided that 
Goering could not have the guardianship of the boy 
Thomas. National Socialism has given Goering the 
guardianship of 60 million Germans. 

On March 10th, 1933, Goering made a speech in Essen, 
in the course of which he said, “ My nerves have never 
given way up to now” He hoped by this remark to silence 
the statements published in the foreign Press regarding his 
nervous condition. At that time he did not realise that there 
was in existence documentary proof of his nervous condi- 
tion, his insanity, his craving for morphia. 

It is no accident that this man is playing a leading part 
in the Third Empire. He embodies the whole brutality 
of the old Prussian officers 9 corps, which has been striving 
for power ever since 1918. He is the embodiment of the 
sadism which in the last few months has led to thousands 
of murders and tens of thousands of brutal and cruel acts 
of maltreatment. He is the embodiment of that officers’ 
clique which murdered Rosa Luxemburg and Kari 
Liebknecht, which shed streams of blood in Plungary, 


r 




f 


142 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

which set up white gallows in Finlahd and is now making 
the whole of Hitler’s Germany into a brown hell. 

Goering represents the content of the policy of the 
National Socialists. National Socialism does not represent 
the workers or the employees or the middle class, but it 
represents the interests of the ruling class, of the noble caste. 
Power was put into the hands of the National Socialists 
in order that they should maintain the existing economic 
system and protect it against the menacing forces of social 
. revolution. To protect these interests, National Socialism 
has taken its highest officials from the ranks of the former 
officers 5 corps, of the nobility and the high State officials. 
This Captain Goering, brutal in the extreme, lying and 
cowardly in the extreme, shows the true face of National 
Socialism. 

This Captain Goering was the organiser of the Reichstag 
fire. His party comrade Goebbels invented the plan. Goering 
carried it through. All the opportunities for doing so were 
in his hands. All the necessary power was in his hands ; 
he held all the threads. It was the morphia-fiend Goering 
who set fire to the Reichstag. 


; ‘ 

Chapter V: DESTRUCTION 
OF THE WORKERS * 
ORGANISATIONS 

cc Now the hour of reckoning has come, when we draw 
conclusions. Let them be under no illusion that this 
reckoning may come to some unexpected end. The end 
of the revolution is the end of the November criminals, 
the end of that system, the end of that period ! We will 
hunt out these men from their last hiding-places and we 
will not rest until the body of our nation has been rid 
of the last traces of that poison.” 

(Hitler on May 7th, 1933, at Kiel.) 

Hitler Expropriates ! Hitler has not nationalised a 
single trust, nor has tie expropriated a single financial 
magnate. But in the first few months of his rule he has 
carried through the expropriation of the political and trade 
union working-class organisations of Germany. 

All Communist and Social Democratic newspapers were 
prohibited from the night of the burning of the Reichstag. 
During that week the Karl Liebknecht House in Berlin, the 
former headquarters of the Communist Party, was expro- 
priated under the Hitler Government’s emergency decree of 
February 5th, 1933. Then all the printing establishments 
and buildings owned by the Communist Party throughout 
Germany were expropriated ; and the same procedure was 
applied to the Berlin evening paper Welt am Abend . 

The Attack on Trade Union Property. Even before 
the burning of the Reichstag systematic attacks on trade 
union buddings and People’s Houses all over Germany had 
been made by storm troop detachments. On March 9th, in 
Chenynitz, the business manager of the Social Democratic 
printing works, Landgraf, was shot by storm troopers when 
they occupied the works. On the same date workers armed 


• # 


I 


144 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

■# 

with rifles and hand grenades defended the Trade Union 
House at Wurzen against a storm troop attack. In Braunsch- 
weig, Hans Saile, the circulation manager of the Social 
Democratic paper Volksfreund , was shot by storm troopers 
who occupied the offices of the paper. On the same date 
there was a partial strike of the Dresden workers against 
the looting by Nazis of the People’s House in that town. On 
the same date the Trade Union House in Berlin was looted. 

The following account .of the attack on the trade union 
headquarters and the Otto Braun House in Konigsberg has 
been given us by an eyewitness : 

* 

“ The Health Section of the Trade Union Association was 
having its usual monthly meeting and social gathering. 
Nazi storm troopers came into the building, and sud- 
denly the doors of the room were tom open and about 
sixty men, armed with revolvers, forced their way into 
the hall and fired a number of shots at the ceiling and the 
wall. Five people were wounded, one seriously, by 
bullets glancing off the walls. Then the bandits drove 
men and women out into the street without their hats 
and coats, which were confiscated. After that, the 
Nazis went through the Trade Union offices, destroying 
everything. 

<e In the case of the Otto Braun House, two uniformed 
police officers came to the building at 1 1 .20 p.m. and 
took away the revolver which was in the possession of 
the night watchman. They then told him that they 
would hold him as a hostage, and that they would have 
to shoot him if any armed person was found in the house. 
Ten minutes later a strong storm troop detachment 
made its appearance and entered the building. The 
caretaker of the building with his wife and two daughters 
lived there in a flat ; three Nazis went to the^flat and, 
threatening the caretaker with their revolvers, ordered 
him at once to open all the rooms in the building. ^Then 
the storm troopers began to smash up everything. They 
first made for the office of the Reichsbanner organisation, 


DESTRUCTION OF WORKERS 5 ORGANISATIONS 1 45 

and chopped up ’every piece of furniture into tiny 
fragments, using axes which they had brought with 
them. Valuable pictures were destroyed ; the cash-box 
was broken open, and every desk smashed. The office 
was left simply a heap of rubbish. The district office of 
the Social Democratic Party was dealt with in the same 
way, and also the office of the Freethinkers organisa- 
tion. Then the business manager of the Konigsberger 
Volkszeitung was fetched by three storm troopers, and 
forced to take them through the offices at the point of , 
the revolver. He was then made to open the garages, 
which were let to private individuals and films, and to 
put the motors there out of action. With three Revolvers 
pointing at him, he was forced to burn a black-red-gold 
banner in the street. 55 

The Saarbriick Volksstimme of March 13 th contains the 
following report of the»occupation by Nazis of the offices of 
the Mineworkers 5 Union in Bochum : 

tc The central offices for the Reich, which are also the 
headquarters of the Bochum mineworkers union, were 
attacked by Hitler’s bandits belonging to the storm 
troops and protective corps, and destroyed from top to 
bottom. All documents were set alight, the fire spreading 
to parts of the building, and the whole of the Central 
Executive, or those members who were there, including 
the president, Husemann, a member of the Reichstag, 
were carried off by the storm troopers and protective 
corps men. 55 

These few examples are only a small sample of what went 
on at that time in every part of Germany. The swastika flag » 

was hoisted over every trade union building, every People’s 
House, qyery newspaper office belonging either to the 
Social Democratic Party or to the Communist Party. 

j^Loral Provocation. The burning of the Reichstag 
was not enough in the way of acts of provocation for the 


# 


* 


I46 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

National Socialists, who also resortecPto moral provocation. 
They called the Karl Liebknecht House “ Horst-Wessel 
House 99 and made it the headquarters of the political 
police. 

Karl Liebknecht’s name is known to the workers of the 
whole world. In defiance of martial law, Karl Liebknecht 
raised his voice against the slaughter of the war. 

Who was the National Socialist “ hero ” Horst-Wessel ? 
He was a student, the son- of a Berlin clergyman. Even the 
. Nazis cannot deny that this “ hero , 35 who used to hunt 
c< Marxists 33 at night with his storm troops, lived on the 
earnings of a prostitute. He was killed in this prostitute’s 
fiat by one of her former lovers. The legend-writers of 
National Socialism say that Horst-Wessel only wanted to 
“ save 33 this woman’s “ soul.” The National Socialist Press , 
asserted — and this became the official legend — that Horst- 
Wessel had fallen at the hands of the Communists. 

Organisations Dissolved. There has not been and 
there is not now any formal prohibition of the Communist 
Party in Germany. But the campaign of terror has in fact 
put all Gommunist leaders and functionaries outside the 
law. All organisations which were believed to stand on the 
basis of the class struggle were outlawed. 

The trade union organisations of the revolutionary 
workers among the miners and the metal-workers of Berlin, 
and the whole of the revolutionary trade union opposition, 
were driven underground. Revolutionary workers’ organi- 
sations uniting all parties, such as the anti-Fascist League, 
the Red Sports organisations, the revolutionary associa- 
tions of writers and artists and photographers, etc., were 
treated in the same way as the Communist Party from the 
moment of the Reichstag fire. 

The German Red Aid, a working-class organisation for 
the support of political prisoners and their families, which 
helped all workers irrespective of their political affiliation, 
was driven underground. Even aid for the victims of 
Fascist barbarity has to be organised secretly. 


DESTRUCTION OF WORKERS 5 ORGANISATIONS 1 47 

The International Workers 5 Relief, which organised help 
for strikers during industrial disputes, was also outlawed ; 
its property was confiscated and its officials and members 
were persecuted. 

All the social and cultural organisations of the working 
class were suppressed : the children’s organisations, the 
League for the Protection of Motherhood, the Association 
of Social and Political Organisations. All pacifist organisa- 
tions met the same fate : the League for Human Rights, the 
German Peace Society, and many others. 

The elections of works councils which took place at the 
end of March were overshadowed by the campaign of re- 
pression of the workers’ organisations, and could not give 
a true reflection of the feeling among the workers. A report 
from the “ Union ” engineering factory in Dortmund is 
typical of how these elections were carried out in almost all 
German factories : 

“ At the s Union ’ works in Dortmund the foreman, 
Dickmann, whose duty it was to superintend the ballot, 
was arrested on the day before the election. The Nazis 
took charge of the ballot papers and called on the 
workers to vote. Any worker who refused to vote was 
told that he would be regarded as an enemy of the 
National Government. The table at which the ballot 
papers were filled in was surrounded by armed Nazis. 
Each worker who came up to vote was listed, and a note 
was kept of which ballot paper he placed in the envelope 
and handed in. At the end of the ballot the leader of the 
Nazis took charge of the ballot box and with his friends 
counted up the votes. Not a single worker of any other 
organisation was allowed to check the result.” 

Yet in spite of such methods the elections did not give the 
Nazis a majority in most factories throughout Germany. 
What 'the Nazis could not get by intimidation and falsifica- 
tion was therefore secured by them through the open use of 
force during the month of April : the “ cleansing ” of the 


148 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

works councils by the removal of all elected trade union and ^ 
revolutionary representatives. Even representatives of the 
Christian Unions who were known as anti-Fascists were 
removed from office. Storm troopers marched into the room 
where the works council was meeting, maltreated and 
imprisoned some and forced them to resign under threat of 
their lives. Appointed Nazi se works councillors 35 were put 
in to correct the election results in every factory. 

Destruction of the Trade Unions. The “ National 
Labour Day 53 of May 1st, when hundreds of thousands of 
workers were driven to participate in the official demon- 
strations by the threat of instant dismissal, served as a pre- 
paratory step to the occupation of all trade union offices by 
the Nazis on May 2nd. The dissolution of the trade unions 
in the form in which they had hitherto existed was pro- 
claimed in the name of a “ Committee for the Protection 
of German Labour 33 which no onerhad heard of until that 
moment. 

It did not help the German General Trade Union Federa- 
tion that it had called on the workers to participate in the 
Hitler demonstration of May 1st. The trade union offices 
were occupied, and the trade union leaders maltreated. 
The “ German Labour Front 33 took over the whole trade 
union apparatus. We give below a few documents showing 
the methods that were used in these attacks on the trade 
unions : 

“ The National Socialists take over the trade unions : the 
leaders arrested : action throughout the Reich. 33 

(Headlines in the Deutsche Allgemeine £eitung , 

May 2nd, 1933.) 

“ Yes, we have power, but we have not yet won the whole 
nation. We have not yet won you workers r, hundred 
per cent. . . , 33 

(From the manifesto issued by Dr. Ley, 
May 2nd, 1932*.) 


DESTRUCTION OF WORKERS 3 ORGANISATIONS 1 49 

„ “ Cleansing of the free trade unions and creation of 
a Labour organisation ; storm troops occupy all trade 
union buildings : 50 trade union leaders arrested : the 
second stage of the National Socialist revolution. 35 

(Headlines in the Volkischer Beohachter , 
May 3rd, 1933.) 

“ After Germany , in the most comprehensive meaning of 
the word, had acknowledged \>n May 1st the National 
Socialist conception of the idea of c Labour, 3 on May 2nd 
the implications of this acknowledgment were applied 
throughout the movement. The so-called free trade 
unions have been disloyal to their own real nature and 
have degenerated themselves and the trade union idea 
to the level of international Marxism. 33 

(From Alfred Rosenberg’s leading article in the 
Volkischer Beohachter , May 3rd, 1933.) 

44 The National Socialist Factory Organisation journal, 
the Arbeitertum , which deals with the theory and prac- 
tice of the National Socialist Factory Organisation, 
becomes from to-day the official organ of the German 
General Trade Union Federation and of the AFA 
Federation. 55 

(From the Ley Committee manifesto issued on 

May 2nd, 1933.) 

4 4 The chapter of Marxist incitement of the workers is 
closed. After the action taken against the Marxist trade 
unions met with such tremendous response throughout 
the nation and particularly in the working class, the 
General Association of Christian Trade Unions, the Trade 
Uniont Association of German Employees’, Workers 3 and 
Officials 5 Associations (Hirsch-Duncker), the Federa- 
tion of Employees 5 Trade Unions, and other smaller 

• associations, under the influence of this mighty na- 
tional movement found themselves compelled to declare 


150 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

in writing that they put themselves unconditionally, 
at the disposal of the leader of the National Socialist 
German Labour Party, and would carry out without 
reserve the instructions of the Action Committee for the 
Protection of German Labour which he has appointed.” 

(From the manifesto issued by Dr. Ley on 
May 4th, 1933.) 

• • • » * • » * 
c £ Innumerable cases of corruption among the leaders of 
the Marxist trade unions : balance sheet mysteries and 
dark financial transactions : eight million organised 
workers brought under the leadership of Adolf Hitler.” 

(Headlines in the V olkischer Beobachter of 
May 5th, 1933.) 

The first manifesto issued by Dr. Ley, the head of the 
“ Action Committee for the Protection of German Labour,” 
was written in a very ££ friendly ” tone : 

“ We have never destroyed anything which had any kind 
of value for our nation, nor shall we in the future. 
This is a fundamental principle of National Socialism. 
This holds good particularly of the trade unions, which 
have been built up out of the pennies which the workers 
have earned with such bitter toil and starved them- 
selves to give. No, workers, your institutions are sacred 
and inviolable to us National Socialists. I myself am 
the son of a poor peasant, and I know poverty : I 
myself was for seven years in one of the largest factories 
in Germany.” 

It may be remarked in passing that Dr. Ley was never a 
worker, but in his seven years of employment with the 
I, G. Farbenindustrie, A.G. (the chemical trust), was a 
highly paid official of the company, and received a large 
sum when he left. * 

At the moment when they took over the trade unions 
by force the National Socialist leaders used the tactics of 


DESTRUCTION OF WORKERS 5 ORGANISATIONS 151 

making a solemn promise to the organised workers that 
their institutions would be maintained. At the same time, 
the National Socialist Press started a great campaign on 
the “ corruption in trade union offices 55 ; and the Nazi 
storm troopers stood ready with their revolvers and rubber 
truncheons to persuade everyone of the friendship felt by 
the Nazis to the working class. 

A few weeks later, on June ioth, Dr. Ley , issued his 
“ Fundamental Ideas on Corporate Organisation and the 
German Labour Front, 55 which he himself described as the 
“ foundation on which generations will be able to build 
anew for centuries. 55 The essential paragraph in this so 
completely new “ foundation 55 reads as follows : 

44 Leadership in the factory. Corporate organisa- 
tion will as its first work restore absolute leadership to 
the natural leader of a factory, that is, the employer (!), 
and will at the sasie time place full responsibility on 
him. . . . Only the employer can decide. 55 

This passage, which proclaims the absolute dictatorship 
of the employer in the factory, contains not a trace of the 
<c sacredness 55 and cc inviolability 55 of the trade union 
organisation. Henceforward the trade unions are to be 
merely auxiliary instruments used by the State of Fascist 
dictatorship. 

* 46 It is better that we should give it (Marxism) a last shot 
to finish it off than that we should ever allow it to rise 
again. The Leiparts and the Grassmanns may hypo- 
critically declare their devotion to Hitler as much as 
they like — but it is better that they should be in prison. 
Thereby we deprive the Marxist ruffians of their chief 
weapon and of the last possibility of strengthening them- 
selves afresh. The diabolical doctrine of Marxism must 
pefish miserably on the battlefield of the National 

* Socialist revolution. 55 

(From Dr. Ley 5 s manifesto of May 2nd, 1933.) 


152 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

$ 

cc Corruption on Corruption.” One of the National < 
Socialist methods of fighting is to 44 settle 53 their opponents 
by bringing charges of corruption against them. It was 
this method that they used to silence Gempp, the Berlin 
fire-brigade director, who knew too much about the burn- 
ing of the Reichstag. And this was the method they used 
to settle accounts with large numbers of the officials of the 
Weimar Republic and many leaders of bourgeois organisa- 
tions which had not yet been 44 brought into conformity. 33 

* And it was the method they used to revenge themselves on 
Gerecke, w}io in 1932 had been head of the Hindenburg 
election committee and therefore one of the chief opponents 
of Hitler’s candidature for the presidency. 

When, under Dr. Ley’s guidance, the Free Trade Unions 
had been 44 brought into conformity,” the National 
Socialist leaders started their great campaign of exposing 
the 44 corruption in the trade unions 33 by way of rounding 
off their soon-forgotten promises of raising trade union 
benefits and lowering contributions. Long accounts were 
published in the Fascist Press of how luxuriously the central 
offices of the various trade unions were furnished. Columns 
in the Press recounted the high salaries drawn by the trade 
union leaders. The National Socialist leaders, who had 
placed the trade union apparatus under the bureaucratic 
political control of Fascist Commissioners, tried to rouse the 
militant members of the trade unions against the bureau- 
cracy of their former leaders and against their policy of 
industrial peace, and to exploit this to get support for the 
44 cleansing 33 carried out by the Fascists. The poverty of 
the workers, and the refusal of strike pay to them in former 
economic struggles, was contrasted in the Fascist Press 
with the comfortable lives led by the trade union leaders. 
The Volkischer Beobachter screamed in heavy type that the 
president of the A.F.A. Federation, Aufhauserf had ar- 
ranged 44 compensation 33 for himself when he retired 
amounting to eighteen months 3 salary at 940 marks — a 
total of 16,920 marks. * 

In addition to facts which savoured of corruption the 


r 


r 


DESTRUCTION OF WORKERS 5 ORGANISATIONS 1 53 

* National Socialist “ unmaskers 55 produced cases of cor- 
ruption which they simply invented. Any use of money 
which did not suit the policy of the Nazis was labelled as 
“ dishonest. 55 It was “ unmasked 55 that in the presidential 
election campaign 300,000 marks of trade union money 
had been handed over by the General Trade Union 
Federation to the Social Democratic Party in aid of their 
campaign for Hindenburg. The Central Union of Em- 
ployees had given 50,000 marks to the Reichsbanner 
organisation in the spring of 1932, and two amounts of 
15,000 marks to the Social Democratic Party funds in 
July and November 1932. The revolutionary trade union 
opposition always opposed the use of trade union money 
for supporting the capitalist policy of the Social Democrats ; 
but it is merely political trickery for the National Socialist 
leaders, who have themselves destroyed the workers 5 
militant organisations, to oppose the use of trade union 
money for purposes v&iich have nothing to do with the 
class struggle. 

Confiscation of the Social Democratic Party’s Property. 
The next step was the confiscation of all property 
belonging to the Social Democratic Party and the 
Reichsbanner : 

“ Berlin, May 10th, 1933. An order has been issued for the 
confiscation of all the property of the Social Democratic 
Party and of its newspapers, as well as of the Reichs- 
banner and its Press. The ground for confiscation is the 
great number of cases of dishonesty which have been 
discovered as a result of the taking over of the Trade 
Unions and the Labour Banks by the National Socialist 
Factory Organisation. In addition to the confiscation 
of the property of the Social Democratic Party, it must 
be staged that the property of all organisations con- 
nected with the party is also confiscated. 55 

* (Angriff , May 10th, 1933.) 

• On the same date all money belonging to the Social 
Democratic Party in Post Office accounts, party publishing 


154 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

concerns and in the Labour Bank* was confiscated. Thee 
offices of the Social Democratic organisations, of the 
Reichsbanner and of the party Press were closed. The official 
Preussische Pressedienst announced that Leipart, the trade 
union leader and Social Democratic member of the Reich- 
stag, was to be prosecuted for “ breach of trust and fraud 5 9 
on the ground that cc specific contributions of trade union 
money had been used for purposes other than those for 
which they had been provided.” 

The same steps were taken against all organisations con- 
nected with the Social Democrats : the Workers’ Gymnas- 
tic and Sports Federation, the German Freethinkers 5 
League, the Workers 5 Welfare Association, etc. On May 
nth the Consumers 5 Co-operative Society was put 6 c into 
safe hands 55 : 

‘ 6 In order to safeguard the immensely valuable property 
of the Co-operative Societies, Which is undoubtedly in 
danger, in the view of the leader, the Reich Minister 
for Economics and other authorities concerned, it is 
necessary to put the Consumers 5 Co-operative Societies 
* into safe hands with a view to their liquidation. 

6 4 It is desirable that the societies in the first instance 
should not be impeded in their operations. But it is 
expressly emphasised that on the other hand there 
should be no further extension of the societies. . . . 
Dr. Ley, leader of the German Labour Front, has 
entrusted the director of the Labour Bank, Karl Muller, 
with the carrying through of the necessary measures. 55 

( Volkischer Beobachter, May 12th, 1933.) 

Under the slogan of the “ fight against corruption 55 the 

property of the trade unions was then confiscated : 

€ 

cc Following on the confiscation of the property of the 
Social Democratic Party and of the Reichsbanner or- 
ganisation, the Corruption Department of the Prussian 
Ministry of Justice has now confiscated the entire 


DESTRUCTION OF WORKERS 5 ORGANISATIONS I55 

property of the trade unions. Dr. Ley, the leader of the 
German Labour Front, has assumed responsibility for 
carrying this step into effect.” 

( Volkischer Beobachter, May 13th, 1933.) 

On June 23rd, 1933, the Hitler Government dissolved 
the Social Democratic Party in the form which has now 
become usual : the party was forbidden to undertake any 
political activity, and its representatives were turned out 
of all parliaments. Even the support given by the Social 
Democratic Party to Hitler’s declaration on foreign policy, 
on May 17th in the Reichstag, and the efforts made by 
Lobe, the new Party leader, to secure toleration from the 
Hitler Government by repudiating the section of the 
Social Democratic Party Executive which had emigrated, 
proved to have been in vain. 

Expropriation of Ctmmunist Property. On May 
27th, 1933, a ^ ter every piece of property of the Communist 
Party and of the Press and organisations associated with 
the party had been confiscated for some months, the fol- 
lowing Act on the Confiscation of Communist Property was 
published : 

u I. (1). The Supreme Authorities of the Federal States or 
officials authorised by them may confiscate for the bene- 
fit of the State any property and rights of the Communist 
Party of Germany and of its auxiliary and substitute 
organisations as well as property and rights which are 
used or destined to be used for the furtherance of 
Communist aims. (2) The Minister of the Interior of the 
Reich may requisition the Supreme Authorities of the 
Federal States to take measures for the enforcement of 
sub-section (1). 

“ II. Tke provisions of Section I do not apply to property 
leased or put at the disposal of the Communist Party 
without transfer of ownership, except when the lessor 

• or supplier had in view the furtherance of Communist 


I56 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

<c III. All existing rights relating to* the property which is , 
confiscated are cancelled. The confiscation of real estate 
does not however affect existing rights affecting the 
property. The Authorities enforcing the confiscation 
may declare such rights cancelled where the value given 
in exchange for the rights was intended for the further- 
ance of Communist aims. 

“ IV. In cases of hardship creditors having claims on the 
confiscated property may receive compensation from 
the proceeds of this property. 

“ VII. Provides that no compensation shall be given, 
and ^ 

“ VIII. Empowers Dr. Frick, Reich Minister of the In- 
terior, to issue regulations for the enforcement of the 
Act . 55 

The Welt am Abend , a militant working-class paper with 
a big circulation in Berlin, was confiscated among the other 
property of the Communist Party, or of what were alleged 
to be Communist organisations. When it became clear that 
the official National Socialist newspapers were not pene- 
trating working-class circles, the Goebbels Ministry of 
Propaganda bethought itself of a new way of deceiving the 
workers. At the end of May a new National Socialist 
journal began to appear, with the same title and the same 
general make-up as the Welt am Abend . Its first few issues 
also followed the nature of the contents of the old paper ; 
a so-called objective report on the Soviet Union was pub- 
lished, and in other ways an attempt was made to appeal 
to working-class readers. But within a very short time the 
new paper found itself obliged to defend itself publicly 
against the exposure of its aims which had been made in 
illegal leaflets circulating among the workers of Berlin. 

r 

Tlie w Corporate ” Aims of the National Socialists. The 
clearer it became that the National Socialist Government 
could do nothing to overcome the economic difficulties 
facing Germany, but was in fact driving Germany forward 


DESTRUCTION OF WORKERS 9 ORGANISATIONS I57 

to catastrophe, the nfore brutally the Nazis applied their 
dictatorial powers. They necessarily pushed forward to- 
wards the absorption of all power, towards the monopoly 
of all power in the hands of their own party and of its 
pseudo-workers 9 organisations. The Catholic convention 
in Munich, at which the Vice-Chancellor von Papen was 
one of the official speakers, was dissolved by the police. 
Christian organisations were forbidden to undertake any 
activity other than religious. Th% growing rival force of the 
German Nationalist factory and defence organisations was 
forcibly destroyed by the police. The few representatives of 
the Christian trade unions in the newly formed “ Great 
Convention of Labour 99 which formed the central ’ organis- 
ation of all the trade unions which had been “ brought 
into conformity, 99 were thrown out of the Convention under 
a regulation issued by Dr. Ley on June 23rd, on the ground 
that they were “ enemies of the National Government." 

In his “ Fundamental Ideas on the Corporate Organisa- 
tion and the German Labour Front," which were pub- 
lished in the Volkischer Beobachter of June 8th-ioth, 1933, 
Dr. Ley sets forth in programmatic form the “ Corporate " 
aims of the National Socialists after the workers 9 organisa- 
tions have been destroyed : 

A. The workers are forbidden to fight for higher wages, 
because such a fight is only the expression of cc greed for 
money " ; Ley’s actual words are : 

“ We know how the greed for profit can get control of 
men, we know how the greed for money dominates 
everyone. One man strives to get more wages, another 
strives for higher dividends. But just because we know 
this we recognise with equal clarity that this c beast 9 
witlffij individual men should not be allowed to be 
nurtured by artificial organisations, but that it must be 
thir task of a higher State leadership to set bounds to 
# this human weakness, to restrain it, if necessary to put 
brutal (1) limits and barriers in its way . . ...” 


I58 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

B. The u leadership ” of the employer in the factory is to 
be restored without any limitation. Dr. Ley says : 

“For this reason Corporate organisation will as its first 
work restore absolute leadership to the natural leader of 
a factory, that is, the employer, and will at the same time 
place full responsibility on him. The works council of 
a factory is composed of workers, employees and em- 
ployers. Nevertheless, it will have only a consultative 
voice. Only the employer can decide. Many employers 
have for years had to call for the master in the house.’ 
Now they are once again to be the e master in the 
house.’” 

C. The cc inflexible ” wages agreements of the past are 
to be smashed to pieces. Wages agreements must be “ as 
living and flexible as possible.” 

D. The last illusion of independence is stripped from the 
former Labour Courts. Their place is taken by so-called 
“ Corporate Courts,” composed of representatives of 
employers and selected Fascists masquerading as repre- 
sentatives of workers and employees. 

The programme put forward by Dr. Ley is not a private 
suggestion of his own, but a programme worked out at 
Hitler’s instructions, on behalf of the party and the Govern- 
ment. Its hostility to the workers and friendliness towards 
the employers is obvious. The “ Corporate organisation ” 
which is supposed to be going to overcome the division of 
society into classes and the class struggle is based at all 
points on the sharpening of the employers’ class dictator- 
ship. 

The appointment of twelve “ Labour Trustees ” with 
power to dictate working conditions in all areas of Germany 
is to serve the same purpose : the complete abolition of any 
rights possessed by the workers to a voice in determining 
their own conditions of life. The occupation by Nazis of 
ail trade union posts and of all positions in the State and 


DESTRUCTION OF WORKERS 9 ORGANISATIONS I59 

every form of organisation paves the way for the establish- 
*ment of a universal National Socialist bureaucracy. In 
the conditions existing under capitalism, with the forcible 
abolition of all control from below, this monopoly must 
necessarily be the source of the worst forms of corruption. 

But each day that passes shows that all the mania for 
destruction, the arbitrary measures and murder-lust of the 
National Socialist leaders, is powerless to destroy the 
militant movement of the German working class. 


Chapter VI : THE CAMPAIGN ' 
AGAINST CULTURE 

A t t he same time as their main attack against the 
German working class and its organisations, Hitler and 
Goebbels are also waging war against the best sections of 
the German intelligentsia. Nazi boots trample on the life 
work of the most prominent scientists and artists. In the 
literal sense they trample on the brutally treated bodies 
of many intellectuals, who are hated by the Nazis on 
account of their independence, their progressive and liberal 
outlook, although in many cases they have had no con- 
nection whatever with the militant workers. Under Hitler 
even a liberal outlook is a crime which must be mercilessly 
avenged. 

Goebbels commands the Brownr inquisitors, who think 
that they can turn back the wheel of history to long before 
the French Revolution. Everything Jewish or supposedly 
Marxist, everything that embodies the progress and en- 
lightenment of the last hundred and fifty years, is to be 
rooted out. In Hitler’s Germany there is no room for con- 
ceptions of any “ spiritual freedom,” for any moderate 
goodwill felt by bourgeois professors to scientific impartiality, 
for even the most distant expression of the social struggle for 
the freedom of the masses in works of art. These are driven 
from professional chairs, from the stage, from the desks of 
lecturers and conductors ; they are driven from the hospitals, 
from the research institutes and the academies. The pyres 
of advanced literature in German city squares blazon far 
into the distance the message that the Brown barbarians 
intend not only to extirpate physically the most courageous 
and self-sacrificing anti-Fascists, but also to destroy every- 
thing of any vitality and worth and even anything that was 
at all progressive even from a bourgeois standpoints 

The last standard-bearers of intellectual “ liberalism / 5 
are now being physically and intellectually murdered by 


THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST CULTURE 


that Brown force whiqh the ruling powers have unchained 
' in order to postpone the collapse of the capitalist system. 
The most recent events in Germany have shown more 
clearly than ever that in our epoch the future of culture is 
inseparably connected with the working class struggle for 
freedom. 


Persecution of Scientists. Fascism’s deadly hatred is 
naturally directed against those intellectuals who have sided 
with the working class struggle for freedom or are connected 
with pacifist organisations. The attack on them followed 
immediately after the burning of the Reichstag. The first 
series of arrests which began after the incendiary act of 
the Brown provocateurs affected particularly the German 
group of the League of Doctors against Imperialist War 
which had been formed at Amsterdam. Since the end of 
February the leader of this group, Dr. Felix Boenheim, has 
been in one of Hitler’s prisons. Dr. Boenheim is an extremely 
respected specialist for internal diseases, and his many 
scientific works have made him famous. He belongs to no 
party. The scientific importance of his works secured for 
him a responsible post in the Hufeland Hospital, one of 
the largest in Berlin. The mere fact that Dr. Felix Boenheim 
put himself at the head of the doctors’ movement against 
war has been enough to expose him to the undying hate of 
the Hitler Fascists. His work on behalf of the international 
doctors’ league has been arbitrarily denounced as c< high 
treason.” He has not been allowed any legal aid. In spite 
of his imprisonment for several months he has been refused 
any contact with his family. 

Max Hodann, known for his activities in the sphere of 
advice to working men and women in sexual matters, and 
author of a number of popular scientific works, has for some 
months been in the hands of Hitler’s myrmidons. 

The well-known Marxist scientist Hermann Duncker, a 
name which ranks high in the workers’ movement through- 
out the world, was imprisoned in spite of his age and the 
fzfct that he was seriously ill. His life is in serious danger* 
Ft 


€ 


162 brown book of the hitler terror 

The man who was regarded by a whole generation of social 
democratic workers as one of their most esteemed teachers ' 
is now being physically and mentally destroyed in Hitler’s 
prisons. 

The writer Karl August Wittfogel, author of an extremely 
well-informed book on China, the writers Ludwig Renn, 
Karl von Ossietzky, Kurt Hiller, Egon Erwin Kisch, Erich 
Miihsam, Klaus Neukrantz, Erich Baron and many others, 
and the doctors Professor Scheller of Breslau, Dr. Asch of 
Berlin, and Dr. Wohlg'emuth of Hamburg have been 
arrested. The scientific institutes, universities and schools 
are to be turned into drill-halls for “ Storm troop culture.” 
The persecution of scientists of high standing who are sus- 
pected of Marxist, pacifist or liberal ideas, touches even 
the ranks of the German Nationalist Party. The lecturing 
staffs of the most important German universities are being 
wiped out with a relentlessness worthy of the Vandals. 
Denunciation and the grabbing of posts by incompetent 
but at least ambitious “ near-scientists 55 are now the order 
of the day. 

The Flower of German Science Driven Out. We select 

only a few examples from the list of dismissals, persecutions 
and of persons “ granted leave of absence.” The best known 
case is that of Albert Einstein, whose reputation as a 
physicist is world- wide. Albert Einstein, a Swiss subject, 
member of the Prussian Academy of Sciences, has incurred 
the hatred of the Nazis for his left-democratic political 
views, his active interest in the Jewish question and his 
world-renowned scientific achievements. Einstein’s scien- 
tific works were burnt in the bonfire at the University of 
Berlin, amid the delighted howls of the Nazis. This act 
alone is enough to make Hitler’s Germany a laughing-stock 
in the world of modern science. 

No branch of modern industry can thrive without the 
exact sciences. But Hitler’s regime has driven from their 
posts the most outstanding representatives of the exact 
sciences and mathematics. The University of Gottingen has 


THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST CULTURE 163 

a long tradition behind, it, and in the last fifty years has 
trained a whole generation of brilliant research workers. The 
most prominent professors of this University have been 
driven out. 

James Franck, an experimental physicist with a world- 
wide reputation and a Nobel prize winner, was forced to 
take “ voluntary ” leave of absence because he is a Jew, 

Professor Bom, also a well-known physicist, is no longer 
allowed to carry on his u un-German 55 researches in 
Germany. 

Courandt is a mathematician, an authority on the theory 
of functions. Bernstein is one of the most important Euro- 
pean experts in actuarial mathematics. Emmy Noether 
has a reputation in the field of mathematics and higher 
algebra. All of these were driven out. 

The Berlin Faculty of Mathematics was also deprived of 
its most outstanding teachers, and the Berlin Technical 
University has also to record heavy losses. Among those 
who have been driven out is Professor Arthur Korn, a 
physicist who invented the first practical method of achiev- 
ing television. The Berlin mathematicians who were 
sacrificed in the “ cleansing 59 of the university include Schur, 
the algebraist, and Professors Misses and Bieberbach. This 
outburst of fury directed against the representatives of the 
exact sciences is suicidal even from the standpoint of the 
modern capitalist development of industry, and stands in 
sharp contrast with the opportunities which the Soviet 
Union has offered to all genuine scientists. 

Among the victims of the Nazi cleansing there is a Nobel 
I prize winner of the name of Fritz Haber. Haber, the leader 
| of an important school of chemists, was a scientific figure 

| of the first rank even before the war. He invented the first 

practical method of obtaining nitrogen from the air. He is 
I anything but a pacifist. During the war his inventions were 
| of the greatest service to Imperial Germany. His name 
V represents the highest development of modern German 
chemistry. The Times of May 4th, 1933, justly remarked 
I tha*c it is an irony of fate that the Nazis should “ compel 99 



164 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

this man to resign his post, when the fact that Germany was 
able to hold out for four years was in all probability due 
to him more than to any other man. Professor Polanyi, 
who was also driven out, was one of Haber’s principal 
colleagues. 

Among others who had to make room for the cultural 
barbarism of the Nazis we must also mention Professor 
Buck of Berlin, who has worked on the Planckian quantum 
theory ; the Konigsberg mathematician Hensel, known for 
his original work on the theory of number ; the Kiel pro- 
fessor Adolf Frankel, author of an important work on the 
theory of quantity ; and the Berlin physicist Pringsheim, 
whosd works deal with important problems of radiation. 

All the scientists mentioned are well-known research 
workers and lecturers of high standing in scientific circles. 
Even this very incomplete list is enough to show that these 
expulsions amount to the virtual destruction of German 
science, that German Fascism isrfighting every scientific 
advance with its inquisitions and incendiarism. 

No Passports for Scientists. The appointment of Albert 
Einstein to the Institute of France, and the lectures given 
in Stockholm by Professor Bernhard Zondek, a dismissed 
gynaecologist, led to the demand being seriously put for- 
ward that the passports of expelled University professors 
should be taken from them — that the 46 un-German ” 
spirit of these scientists should not be allowed to benefit 
foreign universities. In connection with Einstein’s appoint- 
ment at the Institute of France, the Tagliche Rundschau , a 
journal of the Right, on April 17th, 1933, demanded that 
the Government should at once deprive the sixteen dismissed 
university professors of their passports, as otherwise there 
could be no guarantee that one or other of them might not 
shortly occupy a chair in Paris, Oxford or London, and use 
that post to carry on his anti-German politics f that in this 
connection it was necessary to remember that som^ of these 
professors, such as Kelsen, Lederer and Bonn, had extremely 
good connections abroad. 



THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST CULTURE 165 

Germany’s Greatest Doctors may not Work in Germany, 
Bernhard Zondek has been described by Euler, the 
Swedish Nobel Prize winner for medicine, as “ the one 
outstanding genius. 55 Zondek invented a method of chemical 
I analysis of the urine which makes it possible to ascertain 
pregnancy in the earliest stages. This method is of extreme 
importance for social hygiene as well as from the purely 
medical standpoint. Zondek has done brilliant work in 
the investigation of hormones. He; has been attempting to 
produce the sex hormones, substances which are different 
in men and women ; their existence was only recently 
discovered. He is one of the pioneers in this method of 
research, and quite recently achieved astounding Success 
in the “ artificial 55 reproduction of sex hormones. But the 
Hitler Government deprives him of his professorial chair ! 

Friedmann, who has been carrying on research into 
! tuberculosis, has been removed from his post in Berlin. 

! He is the inventor of*i very valuable anti- tuberculosis 
| serum, tuberculin. 

j Moritz Borchardt, director of the surgical department in 

the Moabit Hospital in Berlin, was in his youth an assistant 
of the famous German surgeon von Bergmann, and subse- 
quently doctor in charge of the Virchow Hospital in Berlin ; 
he has applied surgery in the fight against tuberculosis, 
j He has now been removed from his post by a National 
J Socialist “ Commissioner of Health. 55 

i The Destruction of the Hirschfeld Sexual Science In- 

, Stitute. A reliable witness who, although not himself 
attached to the Institute, was able to see and hear exactly 
j what occurred, has made the following deposition as to 
the destruction of this scientific institute, which is known 
j ; throughout the world : 

On the morning of May 6th, the Berliner Lokalanzjeiger 
reported that the cleansing of Berlin libraries of books 
- un-German spirit would be begun that morning, and 

K that the students of the Gymnastic Academy would make 





l66 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

a start with the Sexual Science "Institute. This institute 
was founded by Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld in 1918, in the 
house formerly occupied by Prince Hatzfeld, and was 
shortly afterwards taken over by the Prussian Govern- 
ment as an institution of public importance. Its unique 
collection of exhibits, its research work, its archives 
and its library won for it an international reputation 
and international connections. Many foreign scientists, 
doctors and writers came to Berlin for the purpose of 
working at the institute. 95 

46 On the publication of the press notice referred to, an 
attempt was made to remove for safe-keeping some of 
the" most valuable private books and manuscripts ; but 
this proved to be impossible, as the person removing the 
books was arrested by a guard which had evidently 
been placed round the institute during the night. At 
9.30 a.m. some lorries drew up in front of the institute 
with about one hundred students and a brass band. 
They drew up in military formation in front of the 
institute, and then marched into the building with their 
band playing. As the office was not yet open, there was 
no responsible person there ; there were only a few 
women and one man. The students demanded admit- 
tance to every room, and broke in the doors of those 
which were closed, including the office of the World 
League for Sexual Reform. When they found that there 
was not much to be had in the lower rooms, they made 
their way up to the first floor, where they emptied the 
ink bottles over manuscripts and carpets and then 
made for the book-cases. They took away whatever 
they thought not completely unobjectionable, working 
for the most part on the basis of the so-called ‘ black 
list. 9 But they went beyond this, and took other books 
also, including for example a large work on Tutank- 
hamen and a number of art journals which they found 
among the secretary’s private books. They then removed 
from the archives the large charts dealing with 
intersexual cases, which had been prepared for the 


THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST CULTURE l6j 

International Medical Congress held at the Kensington 
Museum in London in 1913. They threw most of these 
charts through the windows to their comrades who were 
standing outside. 

“ They removed from the walls other drawings and photo- 
graphs of special types and kicked them round the room, 
leaving it strewn with torn drawings and broken glass. 
When one of the students pointed out that this was 
medical material, another replied that this was of no 
importance, that they were not concerned with the 
confiscation of a few books and pictures, but that they 
were there to destroy the Institute. A long* speech was 
then made, and a life-sized model showing the internal 
secretion process was thrown out of the window and 
smashed to pieces. In one of the consulting rooms they 
used a mop to smash a pantostat used in the treatment 
of patients. They also took away a bronze bust of Dr. 
Hirschfeld, and a* number of other statues. On the 
first occasion they only seized a few hundred books out 
of the library of the Institute. 

“ The staff was kept under observation during the whole 
of the proceedings, and the band played throughout, so 
that a large crowd of inquisitive people gathered outside. 
At 12 o’clock the leader made a long speech, and then the 
gang left, singing a particularly vulgar song and also 
the Horst- Wessel song. 

“ The people in the Institute assumed that this concluded 
the robbery proceedings, but at three o’clock in the 
afternoon a number of lorries filled with storm troopers 
appeared and explained that they would have to con- 
tinue the work of confiscation, as the men who had 
been there in the morning had not had time to make 
a proper clearance. This second troop then proceeded 
to m^ke a careful search through every room, taking 
down to the lorries basket after basket of valuable books 
and manuscripts— two lorry-loads in all. It was clear 
from the oaths used that the names of the authors whose 
books were in the special library were well known to the 


l68 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

students. Siegmund Freud, whose'^photograph they took 
from the staircase and carried off, was called 4 that 
Jewish sow Freud ’ ; and Havelock Ellis was called 
e that swine.’ Other English authors wanted by them 
were Oscar Wilde, Edward Carpenter, and Norman 
Haire ; and also the works of Judge Lindsay, the Ameri- 
can juvenile judge, Margaret Sanger, and George 
Silvester Viereck ; and of French writers, the works of 
Andre Gide, Marcel Proust, Pierre Loti, Zola, etc. The 
sight of the works of the Danish doctor Leunbach also 
made them break out into oaths. Many bound volumes 
of periodicals were also removed. They also wanted to 
take away several thousand questionnaires which were 
among the records, but desisted when they were assured 
that these were simply medical histories. On the other 
hand, it did not prove possible to dissuade them from 
removing the material belonging to the World League 
for Sexual Reform, the whole edition of the journal 
Sexus and the card index. In addition, a great many 
manuscripts, including many unpublished ones, fell 
into their hands. 

“ They repeatedly enquired when Dr. Hirschfeld would 
be returning ; they wanted, as they expressed it, to be 
given the tip as to when he would be there. Even before 
this raid on the Institute storm troopers had visited it 
on several occasions and asked for Dr. Hirschfeld. When 
they were told that he was abroad, owing to an attack of 
malaria, they replied : e Then let’s hope he’ll die with- 
out our aid : then we shan’t have to hang him or beat 
him to death.’ 

“ On May 7th, the Berlin and foreign press reported the 
attack on the Sexual Science Institute, and the Execu- 
tive Committee of the World League for Sexual Reform 
sent a telegraphic protest, pointing out that a^consider- 
able portion of the material was foreign property, and 
asking that it should at least not be burnt. No attention 
was paid to this telegram, which was addressed to the 
Minister of Education, and three days later all the books 


THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST CULTURE 169 

and photographs, together with a large number of other 
works, were burnt on the Opera square. More than ten 
thousand volumes from the special library of the Insti- 
tute were destroyed. The students carried Dr. Hirsch- 
feld’s bust in their torchlight procession and threw it on 
the fired 5 

The Nazi report described this “ deed of culture 95 in 
the following terms : % 

Energetic Action against a Poison Shop 

German Students Fumigate the “ Sexual ‘Science 
Institute 59 

cc Detachment X of the German student organisation 
yesterday occupied the * Sexual Science Institute, 9 
which was controlled by the Jew Magnus Hirschfeld. 
This institute, whicbi tried to shelter behind a scientific 
cloak and was always protected during the fourteen 
years of Marxist rule by the authorities of that period, 
was an unparalleled breeding-ground of dirt and filth, 
as the results of the search have proved beyond question. 
A whole lorry-load of pornographic pictures and writings 
as well as documents and registers have been con- 
fiscated. . . . The criminal police will have to deal with 
a part of the material found ; another part of it will 
be publicly burnt. 99 — (. Angriff. \ May 6th, 1933.) 

“ Un-German 59 Sociologists and Jurists. In turning 
out well-known sociologists and jurists the National 
Socialists have also got rid of many good conservative 
elements. The best known of these dismissed professors is 
the Heidelberg sociologist, Alfred Weber, who in con- 
junction with his brother Max Weber, now dead, published 
many profound studies of the forms of development of the 
primitive economy of a number of peoples and cultures in 
countries outside Europe. Weber is by no means a Marxist, 
but a bourgeois professor ; but he committed the mortal 




170 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

sra of not describing other peoples and cultures as half- 
apish and sub-human ” as laid down by National Social- 
ism. The Berlin Commercial Academy loses its rector, the 
prominent liberal economist Professor Bonn. The Professor 
„ constitutional Law, Anschutz, was compelled to leave 
Heidelberg University. He had been for many years a 
. professor at Berlin University ; even in Imperial Germany 
he was an authority of the first rank in his sphere, and 
subsequently he was an .authoritative commentator on the 
Weimar Constitution. 

Many of his colleagues were also sent into the wilderness : 
Professor Kelsen of Cologne ; Harms, his colleague at Kiel • 
Feiler, former editor of the Frankfurter Zeitung ; the Right 
Social Democrat Emil Radbruch, the Social Democrats 
Smzheimer m Frankfurt, Lederer in Heidelberg and Heller 
m Frankfurt— all of them jurists. The greatest German 
authority on civil law, Professor Martin Wolff, was forcibly 
driven out of his lecture-room bf swastika students. The 
liberal Lewm Schiicking, of Kiel, an authority on inter- 
nahonaMaw, who represented Germany at the Hague 
International Tribunal, was driven from his post. 

Prominent psychologists, too, were driven from their 
lecture-rooms. William Stern, of Hamburg, who has pub- 
hshed important works on child psychology, and Max 
Wertheimer, of Frankfurt, are no longer allowed to lecture 
at German Universities. In Hamburg, in addition to a 
half-dozen of less well-known professors, the philosopher 
Ernst Cassirer was dismissed ; he was a man of great 
earning and reputation, of the so-called Marburg school. 

Books by Weight. “ In Berlin the political police have 
confiscated approximately 10,000 hundredweight of books 
and periodicals and removed them to the stables of the 
former mounted police, where they are being carefully 
examined. The seizure of the books was not carried out 
everywhere without friction. As soon as it became known 
that the operation was in progress, many libraries put their 
books into hiding places to prevent their seizure by the 


THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST CULTURE 


I 

I 


i 


I 


I7I 

police. Most of the hMing places were however discovered. 
Many of the books were found scattered in coach-houses, 
cellars, sheds, under floors and in private houses. 5 3 — 
( Volkischer Beohachter , May sist, 1933.) 

On the bonfires. 

“ We are not and do not want to be the land of Goethe 
and Einstein. Not on any account. 35 (Berliner Lokal- 
Anzeiger , May 7th, 1933.) % 

When the caliph wanted to burn the famous library 
of Alexandria, some people begged him to preserve this 
valuable collection. 

“ Why ? 35 asked the caliph. “ If these books contain 
what is in the Koran, then they are superfluous. And if 
anything else is in them, then they are pernicious. 33 

And so the library of Alexandria was burnt. 

On May 10th the square in front of the Berlin opera 
house, opposite the university, was aglow with the flames of 
a great bonfire. The whole square was cordoned off with 
brown and black detachments of the storm troops and pro- 
tective corps. Lorries brought in gigantic heaps of books. 
Bands played, orders rang out, the Minister of Propaganda, 
Goebbels, rushed up in a car. In the year 1933 this extra- 
ordinary spectacle of the burning of books took place, to 
the sound of the Horst- Wessel and Deutschland songs. 

On to the bonfire were thrown the works of Karl Marx, 
Friedrich Engels, Lenin and Stalin, Rosa Luxemburg, Karl 
Liebknecht and August Bebel. “ Deutschland, Deutschland 
iiber alles ! 35 

On to the bonfire were thrown the works of pacifist 
writers, bourgeois poets and social reformers, whose names 
ranked high in bourgeois Germany. The flames consumed 
the works of Thomas Mann and Heinrich Mann, Leonhard 
Frankf Magnus Hirschfeld, Siegmund Freud, Jacob Wasser- 
mann, Stefan Zweig, Bert Brecht, Alfred Doblin and 
Theodor Plivier. “Deutschland, Deutschland iiber alles! 33 










172 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

This destruction of all advanced creations of the intellect 
took place not far away from the pedestal of Alexander 
and Wilhelm von Humboldt in the Berlin University. 
Wilhelm von Humboldt, who founded this university and 
became one of the standard-bearers of the spirit of the 
Enlightenment, aimed at raising Junker Prussia to the level 
of the bourgeois world of the West. Now German students 
in Nazi uniform carried out this pogrom against advanced 
literature, in front of his statue. “ Deustchland, Deutschland 
iiber alles ! 55 

The crackling flames in front of Berlin University, the 
pall of smoke over the heads of a chauvinistic mob, a 
speech from Goebbels, Reich Minister of Propaganda — this 
made a spectacle which the Berliner 12 Uhr-Mittagshlatt , a 
loyal Hitler journal, with unconscious irony described as 
“ spectral.” It has forgotten the fires lighted by the oppres- 
sors of every age, and what came of them. The flames in 
front of Berlin University were to consume not only Marxist . 
works, but the highest achievements of bourgeois culture 
and science of the last hundred and fifty years. 

The mania for the destruction of all advanced literature 
raged through every province of Germany. Tens of thou- 
sands of private libraries were confiscated in the course of 
raids on houses, and often destroyed on the spot. The library 
in the Leipzig Volkshaus, one of the largest and most 
valuable libraries in Germany, with rare and irreplaceable 
publications of the working-class movement, fell victim to 
the Brown cc culture-bearers 5 55 hatred of Marxism. 

Here are some instances of the public burning of books, 
reported by the German National Telegrafen-Union of May 
10th : 

“ Berlin, May 10th. In Munich a ceremony was carried 
out in the inner court of the University, which was 
presided over by the rector. The official speech was made 
by the Bavarian Minister of Education, who spokeof the 
national revolution and the tasks of the universities. 
At the end of the proceedings there was a torchlight 




THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST CULTURE 1 73 

procession to th£ Konigsplatz, where the burning of 
un-German books was carried out. 

“ In Dresden the poet Wilhelm Vesper spoke at the 
students 9 demonstration ; here too there was a long 
torchlight procession to the Bismarck colonnade, where 
after an address by the senior Dresden student all 
filthy and disgusting literature was burnt. 

“ In Breslau the students 3 demonstration took place at 
the castle square. After the ^official speech by Professor 
Bornhausen about forty hundredweight of filthy and 
shameful books were burnt. 

“ In F rankfur t-am-Main Professor Fricke 9 opened the 
proceedings, which took place on the historic Romer- 
burg. A wagon filled with the books which were to be 
burnt as a symbol was drawn by two oxen to the place 
where the bonfire had been made. The burning of the 
books concluded with the singing of the Horst-Wessel 
song." 

A few days earlier the works of the great German poet 
Heinrich Heine had been committed to the flames in 
Diisseldorf. 

In his speech at Berlin, Herr Goebbels spoke of the burn- 
ing of the books as “ a very symbolical act. 53 The burning 
was not symbolical. The German Fascist reactionaries are 
determined in actual fact, and quite unsymbolically, to 
burn anything printed which does not suit them, just as 
they are determined physically to exterminate all writers 
and distributors of anti-Fascist literature. 

A Black List. The Hugenberg organ, the Nachtausgabe , 
published on April 26th, 1933, the following black list of 
literature which deserved to be burnt : 

Belles lettres : Schalom Asch, Henri Barbusse, 
Bertholt Brecht, Max Brod (excepting his novel Tycho 
m Brahe), Alfred Doblin (except for Wallenstein ), Ilja 
Ehrenburg, Albert Ehrenstein, Arthur Floesser, Lion 


174 brown book of the hitler terror 

• Feuchtwanger, Iwan Goll, Jaroslav Hassek, Walter 
Hasenclever, Arthur Holitscher, Heinrich Eduard 
Jacob, Joseph Kalenikow, Gina Kaus, Egon Erwin 
Kisch, Heinz Liepmann, Heinrich Mann (except 
Flo ten und Dolche) , Klaus Mann, Robert Neumann, 
Ernst Ottwald, Kurt Pinthus, Theodor Plivier, Erich 
Maria Remarque, Ludwig Renn (only JVachkrieg ), 
Alfred Schirokauer, Arthur Schnitzler, Richard Beer- 
HofTmann, Ernst Toiler, Kurt Tucholski, Arnold 
Zweig, Stefan Zweig, and Katherine voird Soldat , by 
Adrienne Thomas. 

Political Science : Lenin, Karl Liebknecht, Karl 
Marx, Hugo Preuss, Walter Rathenau, Rudolf Hilferd- 
ing, August Bebel, Max Adler, S. Aufhausser, E. I. 
Gumbel, N. Bucharin, L. Bauer and Helen Keller, All 
of Lassalle, except his Assizes Speeches and On the special 
connection of the present Historical Period with the idea of the 
Workers as a Class . 

History : In general, all pacifist and ce defeatist 5 s 
works, also all pro-Bolshevik literature on Russian 
history, must be destroyed ; this includes the works of 
Otto Bauer, Karl Tschuppik, Oskar Blum, Paul Hahn, 
Muller-Franken, Kurt Kersten’s Bismarck und seine %eit, 
Franz Mehring’s Z ur deutschen Geschichte and Z ur preus- 
sischen Geschichte , and the works of Glasier and Upton 
Sinclair. 

Gutjahr, head of the Berlin-Brandenburg section of the 
German students’ organisation, directed the burning 
of the books on the square in front of Berlin University. In 
addition to the works of the authors enumerated above, he 
also ordered to be thrown on to the flames the works of 
Engels, Siegmund Freud, Emil Ludwig, Alfred Kerr, 
Ossietzky, Theodor Wolff, Georg Bernhard, Berths von 
Suttner, Rosa Luxemburg, Theodor Heuss, Freiherr von 
Schoneich and Vandevelde. 


THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST CULTURE 1 75 

The ideological weakness of the Brown rulers manifests 
itself in this war of destruction waged against science and 
literature for the purpose of destroying everything that is 
necessary to an understanding of the history of culture and 
science. But Hitler’s burning of all the works of progressive 
German thought cannot wipe out the memory of what 
mankind has owed in the past to German thought. The 
flames of the fires on the Berlin Opera Square have not 
destroyed Germany’s ability to ^elp forward the develop- 
ment of human culture. Not Hitler, Goebbels, Goering and 
Rust are the representatives of the “ real German mind,” 
but the millions of men and women whom * the Hitler 
regime is now persecuting as anti-Fascist workers, scientists, 
artists and intellectuals. 

“ Cleansing ” of the Prussian Academy of Poets. We 
are not here concerned with whether the Prussian Academy 
• of Poets has produced any positive and really creative work 
during the existence of the Weimar Republic. Measured by 
their swastika successors, the poets who have been ejected 
from the Academy or forced to resign from it are indeed 
giants. 

First among the “ purged 55 members of the Academy is 
Thomas Mann, the Nobel Prize winner and perhaps the 
most representative writer of bourgeois Germany. His 
“ crime ” was that in recent years he had been drawing 
closer to a Social Democratic standpoint and had even on 
several occasions raised his voice against deliberate judicial 
murders, as in the cases of Sacco and Vanzetti and Rahosi. 
He once described the National Socialist Party as “ the 
most noxious refuse of the age,” and this crime will never 
be forgiven him. 

His brother Heinrich Mann tried to maintain the posi- 
tion of “ a free and independent mind.” He caricatured 
the middfe-class of Imperial Germany (“ Der Untertan ”) 
and ateo of the Republic {“ Die grosse Sache ”). He sup- 
ported the Amsterdam international anti-war movement, 
and he has therefore, like his brother, had his bools burnt 


176 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

and he himself has been hunted put by Hitler’s “ culture 
bearers.” 

Jacob Wassermann is another of the writers who has 
incurred the Nazis 5 hatred ; his books have been translated 
into many languages. His chief crime is that he is a Jew 
and that he has expressed liberal ideas in his novels. 

Alfred Doblin, by profession a doctor in a working-class 
quarter of Berlin, also wrote a number of fantastic and, to 
some extent, exotic novels {Die drei Spriinge des Wang Lun P 
Wallenstein , Berge, Meere und Giganten) . His last novel was 
Berlin Alexanderplatz . In public debates Doblin described 
himself as a 46 class-conscious bourgeois.” He experimented 
a great' 1 deal in his style and treatment, somewhat like 
the Irishman James Joyce and the American Dos Passos. 

Franz Werfel, who never went outside the range of 
bourgeois ideas, was the pioneer of expressionism twenty 
years ago. His novel Verdi won him great popularity. The 
Nazis could not leave him alone. 

Others ejected were Rene Schickele, the German poet of 
Alsatian origin ; and Leonhard Frank, author of the anti- 
war book Der Mensch ist gut , and the novels Die Rauberbande 
and Die Ursache . Although he had been moving to the 
Right during recent years, his past was enough to win for 
him the Nazis’ hate. 

Dramatists turned out of the Academy included Georg 
Kaiser, whose talent was unique though extremely anar- 
chist in tendency ; and Fritz von Unruh, the dramatist of 
the Weimar Republic. Bernhard Kellermann, a gifted story- 
writer of liberal tendencies, the poets Mombert and 
Rudolf Panwitz, and Ludwig Fulda, a writer of comedies, 
were all ejected. One of the few German women writers of 
any literary ability, Ricarda Huch, resigned from the 
Academy early in April. Among the politically colourless 
members of the Academy, such as Oskar Loerke and Jakob 
SchafFner, Gerhardt Hauptmann must also be mentioned : 
these were allowed to remain in the Academy. Hauptmann, 
who wrote the story of the weavers, had already been 
through many fic transformations.” During the war he was 


THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST CULTURE 


177 

! one of the 93 intellectuals who signed a manifesto sup- 
porting the war-lords. After the war he became the official 
poet of the Weimar Republic. And now he maintained a 
i determined silence when the Brown terror was driving the 

best bourgeois writers and scientists out of the country. 

And now for the men whom Rust, the Nazi Minister of 
Education, has brought into the Prussian Academy of 
Poets. The leading figure is Hans Johst, who once eagerly 
supported the revolution. But tha crime of November 1918 
is now forgiven. He is the only National Socialist writer 
who has achieved a certain reputation. At present his 
Schlageter drama is being played, on instructions from 
the Hitler Government, in hundreds of German theatres ; 
its hero declares : “ When I hear the word culture, I get my 
Browning ready ! ” 

Herr Rust’s special attractions in the Academy, apart 
from Hans Garossa, are quite insignificant wri ters like Emil 
-.Strauss, Will Vesper, Wilhelm Schafer, Agnes Miegel and 
Peter Dorfier. Hans Grimm wrote a novel on “ the nation 
without room for expansion,” and Borris von Munchhausen 
has written slight ballads expressing German sentiments, 
y In their endeavour to find names of any kind of signi- 

| ficance the National Socialists even approached the poet 

I Stefan George, the most snobbish and superior of all 

j! German poets, hoping to be able to use his name to grace 

! Adolf Hitler’s cultural policy. 

Brown Poetry. Dr. Josef Goebbels, Minister of Pro- 
paganda in the Third Empire, wrote a novel called Michael : 
a German destiny in diary form . Michael, the yearning German 
soul, has visions. Evil appears to him in the form of Ivan, 

\ tiie Russian, who tries to entice him into Bolshevism. 

I Michael’s soul struggles with the tempter : 

i # 

But I am stronger than he. 

* Now I have him by the throat . 

L ■ # Now I hurl him to the ground . 

I There he lies . 



iyB BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

The death rattle in his throat , and? bloodshot eyes . 

Perish , carrion ! I trample on his brains. 

And now I am free ! 

That is the spirit which makes a man worthy of the 
Hitlerised Academy of Poets : “ I trample on his brains ! 
Perish, carrion I ” 

The notorious writer Hanns Heinz Ewers, who was 
appointed byGoebbels as head of the Association of German 
Authors after it had been “ brought into conformity 55 has 
not yet been officially admitted to the Academy of Poets. 
His pornographic novels, Alraune and Der Vampyr were 
subsequently put on the list of “ filthy and disgusting 
literature 55 by the Nazis themselves (and they were the 
only ones which really deserved it !) ; but he is the official 
biographer of Horst Wessel, the hero of National Socialism. 
On Hitler’s birthday a “ Horst Wessel ” play by Ewers was 
broadcast by the German wireless. r This writer’s existence — 
had been completely forgotten for many years until he was 
resurrected to be the official poet of the “ Third Empire.” 
In 1922 Ewers wrote a foreword, expressing great sympathy 
for the Jews, to Israel Zangwill’s Die Stimme von Jerusalem. 
But the state of the market has altered since then, and 
Ewers has become an anti-Semite. 

Thus the Prussian Academy of Poets has been recon- 
structed under the banner of the spirit which expresses 
itself in such an “ awakening lyric ” as the following : 

All little birds are already there ! 

(Air : “ Nun ade ” and “ All little birds.”) 

1 . Now adieu , my dear Fatherland . 

At Strassburg 

A great lamentation begins. 

Hail to thee in thy crown of victory . 

A summons thunders through the land * 

Rosa Luxemburg is floating in the canal : 

Karl Liebknecht is hanging on the . . . tree ! 


THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST CULTURE 


179 


2. All little birds are already there ! 

All little birds , all , 

Thrush, finch and tit 

And the Reichsbanner black-red ... 

What . . . a pity that there's no gold , 

For ever a pity ! 

[From Germany Awake ! the small Nazi song book, 
Edition B, published by Paul Arend, Sulzbach, Oberp- 
falz, 8th (!) Edition.] 

It must not be thought that this gem of Brown poetry, 
broadcast in the eighth edition, is not typical ; there is no 
difference between this and the most popular Nazi songs : 

When Jewish blood spurts from under the knife , 

Things will be twice as good as before . 

MH. 1 

Or : 

The red brood , beat them to a pulp ! 

Storm troops are on the march — clear the way ! 

The Campaign against “ un-German 55 Music. Herr 
Josef Goebbels, Reich Minister of Propaganda, told the 
German theatre managers and actors on May 9th that : 
“ Art comes from ability and not from the will.” By way 
of illustrating this fine sentiment we give below a further 
list of losses to German art. 

Bruno Walter, Otto Klemperer and Fritz Busch were 
always reckoned among the best creative artists of Germany. 
For some years Otto Klemperer directed the Kroll opera 
house in Berlin, and under him it became a centre of 
modern music ; it was he who brought forward Hindemith 
and Kurt Weill. Klemperer was subsequently appointed 
to the State Opera House in Berlin, where he continued his 
work alo*g the same lines. Now he has been forced to give 
up his conductor’s baton because he is of Jewish origin. 
Bruno Walter, a conductor with a reputation throughout 


l8o BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

the world, is a Jew. And as “ Art homes from ability,” he 
may no longer conduct in Germany. His place is taken by a 
certain Herr Fuhsel, official musician to the Nazis (he was 
commander of a large brass band), in connection with 
whom no one can use the terms art and ability ; but he 
will now show the awakened German nation how music is 
made, 

Busch, the musical director in Dresden, is fair, and so 
his “ Aryan 55 origin cannot be disputed. He is a conserva- 
tive, but as it happens not a Nazi. He brought a new era 
of fame to the Dresden Opera House. During the “ national 
revolt/ 5 a Nazi denunciator appeared on the stage in the 
middle of a performance, and demanded that Busch should 
resign his post. 

“ Berlin, March 8th. Yesterday evening sixty Nazi 
storm troopers occupied the stage of the Municipal 
Opera House, during the performance of Rigolette 7-^ 
led by the famous conductor Busch. According to the 
account given by the Vossische %eitung, the leader of the 
Nazis told the audience that in future he himself would 
direct the theatre, and that the conductor Strieger 
would conduct the orchestra instead of Busch. As Busch 
nevertheless attempted to continue conducting, a 
terrific uproar arose among the Nazis who were present, 
and Busch was compelled to leave, while Strieger took 
his place at the conductor’s desk. 55 

The best known German pianist is Arthur Schnabel, who 
in the course of thirty years work has developed into an 
interpreter of the great music written for the piano. He 
conducted an advanced class for piano music at the Berlin 
Academy of Music ; and he has been turned out because he 
is a Jew. Two of his colleagues have also beer*, turned out 
of the Academy : Emil Feuermann, who is now the only 
German ’cellist of any standing, and Leonid Ki^eutzer, a 
good pianist and teacher. The first-rate violinist l$.arl 
Flesch has been dismissed ; also the well-known conductors 


THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST CULTURE 


181 

Oskar Fried, Fritz Stiedry and Gustav Brecher, as well as 
the prominent pianist Bruno Eisner. 

Of the creative musicians in Germany, Marx von 
Schillings immediately joined the Nazis ; his compositions 
are not original, and his conducting nowhere gets beyond 
the formal pattern. Schillings, who under the Republic 
accepted high positions, became president of the Academy 
after Max Liebermann’s resignation. He has found a friend 
equally loyal to the Nazis in the composer Hans Pfitzner ; 
and another representative composer, Richard Strauss, has 
joined them. It is true that the latter’s works, viewed from 
the Nazi standpoint, would satisfy the “ wanton Jewish 
sensual appetites 93 ; but he is now on the way to becoming 
an official composer. 

Hardly a single one of the modern German composers 
remains with the Nazis. Arnold Schonberg has been driven 
out of his post at the Academy of Music ; whatever one 
«»w£hinks of his music, he has certainly had the most important 
influence on the development of modern music. In politics 
a conservative, Schonberg was a formal revolutionary in 
music, and found a new and original musical language. 
But Nazi Germany cannot use this pioneer, 
i One of the best known German composers is Kurt Weill, 

' whom Hitler’s Germany has proscribed. He wrote the 
Dreigroschen opera, which achieved success throughout the 
world. But he is a Jew, and so he is now homeless. 

Franz Schreker, the best known of whose operas is Der 
Feme Klang , was ejected from the Association of the 
Academy of Music ; he is by no means particularly pro- 
gressive, but his origin is “ not above reproach . 53 

The special hate of the Nazis was directed against the 
first proletarian revolutionary composer, Hans Eisler, 
who has also been driven out of Germany. In recent years 
he has provided the German working class with choral 
pieces (“ £)ie Massnahme ”) and popular fighting songs 
which were sung in meetings and on the streets, and will 
soon become known in other countries. His music was 
consciously and consistently made for the working class ; 




9 



1 82 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

Hitler’s Germany offered him either the drilling of the 
concentration camps or a martyr’s death in some Nazi 
barracks. 

German music, which for some time has been in a general 
state of crisis, has now been deprived of its best forces. As 
a result of this action, the most famous conductor in the 
world, Arthuro Toscanini, who works in Mussolini’s Italy, 
has refused to take part in the Bayreuth festival in con- 
nection with the anniversary of Richard Wagner. Early in 
June he sent the following telegram to Frau Winnifred 
Wagner : _ 

“ As events in Germany, which violate my feelings as an 
artist and as a man, in spite of my hopes show no change 
up to the present, I consider it to be my duty to break 
the silence which I have imposed on myself for the last 
two months, and to inform you that for my and your 
and everyone’s peace of mind 'it is better not to thinks 
any more of my coming to Bayreuth. With sentiments 
of unalterable friendship for the house of Wagner : 
Arturo Toscanini.” 

Theatre — Painting — Films. The chauvinistic glorifica- 
tion of Schlageter and the idealisation of Horst Wessel now 
dominate the German stage. Herr Goebbels has had his 
“ well-known ” drama Der Wanderer presented at a Berlin 
theatre. 

All actors who had given proof of any artistic ability are 
no longer to be seen on the German stage. All State, 
municipal and private theatres have been cc brought into 
conformity.” The Actors’ Associations have been brought 
under the control of Fascist commissioners. Fritz Kortner, 
Max Pallenberg, Massary and Bergner, and the stage man- 
agers Max Reinhardt and Jessner, have been driven out 
of Germany as cc un-German.” 

The artistic abilities of the opera stars Lotte *Schone, 
Frieda Leider, Alexander Kipnis, among others, no longer 
count under the dictatorship of Rust’s Brown culture. The 


THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST CULTURE 183 

proletarian singer arid actor Ernst Busch, a highly-gifted 
artist, who popularised Eisler’s proletarian songs and won 
a name for himself among the German workers, was 
hunted out of Germany. 

Jewish Actors only to play in negative roles. The UFA 
Film Company issued instructions that in their future 
films Jewish actors were only to be used in negative roles, 
such as swindlers, criminals and pathological cases. 

On June 6th a general meeting was held of the Union of 
Stage Directors, which has been incorporated in the 
National Socialist “ League of Fighters for German 
Culture. 5 ’ The Government Commissioner, Hinkel, an- 
nounced at this meeting that there would be a new “ clean- 
sing 55 campaign among professional actors. 

“ On the recommendation of the Prussian Ministry of 
- Education to the «head of the Government, Goering, 
the formation of a Prussian Theatre Commission has 
been announced. The work of this Commission, of 
which Hinkel will be chairman, will be to investigate 
the position of all stage managers, musical directors, 
conductors and soloists connected with all municipal 
theatres. Decrees will shortly be issued to facilitate the 
annulment, extension or alteration of agreements in 
order to ensure that no obstacles stand in the way of the 
artistic work which is essential in the German theatre. 
Legal measures will be taken to provide for the dis- 
solution of private obligations where these are in con- 
flict with the interests of the German theatre.” 

— (Frankfurter Zeitung> June 8th, 1933.) 

The Nazi work of destruction is being carried on in every 
field of art. The president of the Academy of Arts, the 
painter Max Liehermann, a conservative in politics, was 
compiled to resign his post on the basis of the Aryan clause. 
It goes without saying that Kathe Kollwitz, the gifted 
artist of working-class life, was banished by the Nazis. The 


184 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

number of painters and artists who have fallen victims to 
the “ German cleansing 99 is legion. 

The best known and most progressive film directors have 
been forced to leave Germany to find employment. All 
film artists associated with the working-class movement and 
all proletarian or progressive films have been placed on the 
black list. The following are some of the films which were 
immediately prohibited by the Hitler Government : 

Kuhle Wampe 

Niemandsland 

Kameradschaft 

Mutter Krause 

Die andere Seite 

Das Testament des Dr. Mabuse 

Im Westen Nichts Neues 

F rauengl uck — F rau enno t 

Holzerne Kreuze (a French film^. 

Soviet films banned included : 

The Path to Life 
Storm over Asia 
Mother 

Menschen arsenal 

Ten Days that Shook the World 

The End of St. Petersburg. 

Woe to those who are suspected of too close connection 
with working-class films ! An example of this is the im- 
prisonment and maltreatment of Dr. A. Steigler by storm 
troopers and auxiliary police. Steigler was director of a 
film company in Berlin which in the course of its work 
rented Russian films. This was enough : the offices of the 
company were occupied by storm troops and police and 
the whole staff was arrested. All films were confiscated, and 
the offices sealed up. The staff was taken to the M&ikafer 
barracks in Berlin, where in the presence of his employees 
Dr. Steigler was subjected to the most terrible maltreatment 


THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST CULTURE 1 85 

and torture. Storm troupers attacked him with their fists, 
clubs and belts, and kicked him when he fell to the ground, 
covered with blood. 

The Schools of the “Third Empire.” 

“ e They say that in your schools boys and girls fight to- 
gether naked and are thus trained as warriors and 
Amazons. But do they also learn anything ? And are 
not their carnal desires excitedwvhen they see each other 
thus ? * 

“ c Not at all, my friend, for we wear them out till they 
can no longer breathe, and when they are tired they can 
neither think nor feel carnal desire. 

£< 4 But how then do they acquire the sciences and arts 
which they must have, o wise lawgiver ? 5 
£C c They must not learn and they must not think, for 
whoever can think may think evil thoughts, bur who- 
■*— ■fcver is made perfect physically and made to toil the 
whole day long is capable of becoming a useful citizen . 5 55 

(From a discussion on Spartan education in Greece.) 

The Weimar Constitution made possible some, though 
inadequate, new experiments in school organisation. It 
enabled scholars, at least in the large towns, to pass through 
the public schools without religious instruction. It left 
undisturbed the educational privileges of the rich ; but it 
did at least lead to some hesitating experiments in the 
admission of workers to the universities and in giving them 
special training for university work. 

Now the schools have been once again transformed, from 
top to bottom, into drilling-grounds of the Christian 
religion. Experiments such as that made by the Karl Marx 
Realgymnasium in Neukolln — the use of modern teaching 
methods, the subdivision of courses into a number of 
separate groups based on the special interest of the pupils, 
and the#systematic preparation of workers for the univer- 
sities — have been stopped and prohibited. 

In My Fight Hitler outlined his programme for the schools. 


1 86 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 


It was much the same as that of the Spartan cynic cited 
above. The meaning of Hitler’s programme is that the 
schools of the 44 Third Empire ” will not be expected to 
|||; provide the children with knowledge and science, but to 

make them obedient to the leader. And Frick says in a less 
open form what Hitler says bluntly and without circum- 
locution. 

On May gth Frick laid down his programme at a meeting 
of the Ministers of Education of the various States. He told 
them that up to now the whole system has been wrong : 
that children 44 have been instructed, not educated.” A 
fine distinction : but what is Frick aiming at ? 

4 4 To-day we have more reason than ever to recall that, 
hand in hand with our kindred Germanic peoples of 
Northern Europe, and their daughter States beyond the 
seas, we have to fulfil tasks throughout the world which 
will give the Nordic race a wide field of constructive^ 
cultural work.” 

The 44 kindred ” peoples are here not clearly defined. It 
w*ould appear that Herr Frick hopes to unite them all 
against the 44 sub-men ” in order to create a world-embrac- 
ing cc Third Empire ” which will show the 44 inferior ” 
peoples of Latin or other 4 4 races ” how things are managed 
in a real Hitler empire. 

44 Together with the development of purely physical 
suppleness and ability, special emphasis must be laid 
on the formation of will-power and the power to make 
decisions, as the essential basis for the development 
of a sense of pleasure in taking responsibility which lies 
at the root of character.” 

Though expressed in involved language, this corresponds 
closely enough with the maxims laid down by the Spartan 
cynic. The schools are to produce uneducated ^( cfi unin- 
structed ”) but well-drilled, dauntless soldiers of the 44 Thprd 




THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST CULTURE 187 

as good as the “ ThiVd Empire ” exists in the world, the 
world must be completely distorted as it is shown to them. 
Hence history must be falsified and made National Social- 
ist. The new history books must contain as little as possible. 
ce Considerable abridgment is indispensable.” It is therefore 
sufficient ce to bring out the historical forces which have 
always been operative.” The two last decades of our own 
age must be the main object of historical treatment. To 
make things plainer, Frick added that it would be particu- 
larly necessary to deal with 4 4 the beginning of the awaken- 
ing of the nation in the struggle for the Ruhr, up to the 
victory of the idea of National Socialist freedom and the 
restoration of the German nation at the festival of 
Potsdam.” 

In addition to this type of historical science other subjects 
particularly insisted on for the schools are u racial science ” 
and Cfi the elementary study of the basic conceptions of 
mmm&m aily research.” T hfe Bavarian Ministry of Education 
issued instructions containing the following passage : 

“ At the beginning of the school year 1933-4 — apart 
from all other subjects and lessons — all classes in the 
State of Bavaria must arrange for history lessons in the 
first four to six weeks covering the period 1918 to 1933. 

cc The remainder of the curriculum in this subject must be 
correspondingly shortened and allocated to the remain- 
ing months of the year. At the conclusion of this course 
the last lesson must be organised as an ennobling celebra- 
tion, with short addresses by the teacher and one of the 
pupils on the national awakening, the singing of patriotic 
songs, etc. This theme, the national awakening, which is 
most important for the re-awakening of national senti- 
ment among the Bavarian youth in the schools, is not 
only to be treated as a subject of study in history, health 
science, etc., but must also be dealt with fundamentally 
as k principle of education. If examinations are held at 
m the end of the year, special attention must be paid to 
this theme.” 


* 


l88 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

The Government commissioner in Berlin, Dr. Mein- 
shausen, stated in a speech on the transformation of Berlin 
school life, which was published in the Vdlkischer Beobachter 
of May 6th, 1933, t ^ iat : 

“ A halt must be put to all liberal sentimental dreams. 

... In the Jewish question the principle must be : 

c Sentimentality is high treason. 5 55 

T 

In accordance with this, the Nazi Minister of Education 
has completely re-shaped all pedagogical colleges, and 
dismissed all teachers who were “ suspect. 55 All secular 
schools are liquidated. Religious education is once again 
compulsory. The reintroduction of whipping was the first 
achievement of Brown school policy. 

All modern tendencies in the schools have been com- 
pletely rooted out. The pupils in the top class at the 
c< unorganised 55 Karl Marx school^ in Neukolln have 
been put back two years ; before they are allowed to pro- 
ceed with their studies they have to be first drilled in the 
pure Nazi spirit. 

Jewish students as well as Jewish professors were driven 
out of the universities. Henceforward only one and a half 
per cent of new entrants to the higher educational institu- 
tions may be £C non-Aryan. 55 (Instructions of the Prussian 
Ministry of Education, May 8th, 1933.) 

All teachers are compelled to join the National Socialist 
Teachers 5 Union ; this is a condition of employment. 

The following clauses are contained in the Act against 
the overcrowding and excessive proportion of persons of 
foreign race in the universities : 

1. In all schools other than compulsory schools, the 

number of scholars and students is to be restricted so as 
to guarantee adequate education and to conform with 
the needs of the professions. ^ 

2. In accepting new entrants care must be taken that 
the number of those of German nationality who are of 


THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST CULTURE 1 89 

non-Aryan origin within the meaning of the Law for 
the restoration of a professional civil service of April 7 th, 
1933, in relation to the total number of students in each 
institution and faculty, does not exceed the propor- 
tion of non- Aryans in the German population. This 
proportion is fixed for Germany as a whole as 1.5 per 
cent. 

7. The Act comes into force from its promulgation. 

Legal Examinations simplified for Nazis. The Reich 
Commissioner for the Prussian Ministry of Justice, Kerl, 
issued instructions on April 5th that all candidates in legal 
examinations who have served the Fatherland for a certain 
period in one of the recognised national associations may, 
at their request, be allowed a shortened form of examination 
by way of compensation for the time lost to their studies. 
m—J& eutsche Allgemeine Z e &ung 9 April 12th, 1933.) 

The cc Spirit ” of the Students who bum books. 

1. Language and literature grow from the nation. 

2. To-day there is a contradiction between literature and 
the German nation. This is a shameful state of things. 

3. Purity of language and literature depends on you ! 

4. Our most dangerous opponent is the Jew. 

5. The Jew can only think Jewish. If he writes German, 
he is lying. The German who writes German and thinks 
Jewish is a traitor. 

6. We mean to put an end to this lie, we mean to brand 
this treachery. 

7. We mean to treat the Jew as a foreigner, and we mean 
to take Hie nation seriously. We therefore demand from 
the censorship the following : Jewish works must be 
published in Hebrew. If published in German, they 
fhust be described as translations. Only Germans have 


190 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

the right to write in German. The un-German spirit 
must be eradicated from public libraries . . . 

The German Student Organisation. 
(From the twelve theses “ Against the un-German 
spirit ” posted in Berlin University on April 13th, 1933.) 


Bringing the Press cc into Conformity.” On the eve- 
ning of January 30th, 1933 — the day when the Hitler- 
Hugenberg Government was formed — the new Minister, 
Frick, summoned the representatives of the Berlin Press to 
a conference, at which he promised that the new Govern- 
ment would be distinguished from its forerunners by its 
maintenance of the freedom of the Press. A few days after 
“ the word of a German man ” had been given, a wave of 
prohibitions of the Communist and Social Democratic Press 
swept through Germany. By the middle of February 
practically the whole of the German r Communist Press ha d 
been closed down. Prohibitions of Social Democratic and 
Democratic papers descended like hail. In the course of the 
Reichstag election campaign, storm troops went into the 
printing offices of the Centre newspapers in the Rhineland, 
compelled them to print the speeches of National Socialist 
Ministers, and, with the support of the police authorities, 
exercised a rigid censorship over what was to appear. 

In the course of the last few days before the burning of 
the Reichstag Frick’s “ freedom of the Press ” had been 
almost completely crushed out by the storm troops and 
police. The destruction of working-class printing works and 
newspaper offices was only prevented by defensive guards. 
When the Nazis succeeded in bringing off their monstrous 
act of provocation in the Reichstag and the Brown terror 
began to rage, the last remaining of the Communist and 
Social Democratic papers were wiped out. 

Communist, Social Democratic and bourgeois journalists 
of Left tendencies were cast into prison or delivered over to 
sadistic tortures in Nazi barracks. The democratic bour- 
geois press and the Centre newspapers began to be 


THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST CULTURE igi 

fiC brought into conformity 55 with the new pogrom regime. 
The democratic publishing houses of Ullstein and Mosse 
and the liberal Press throughout Germany began the 
“ voluntary 55 removal of Jewish, pacifist or other members 
of their editorial staffs who were not liked by the Nazis, 
And this press too celebrated the “ fateful events of these 
days/ 9 and declared in support of the “ awakening 53 of the 
nation, for Hitler. It suppressed the reports of the massacres 
in the working-class quarters. It suppressed the acts of 
brutality which were taking place' daily only a few minutes 
away from the editorial offices. The “ Jewish papers 55 
denied the persecution of the Jews. » 

The foreign Press, which was not so accommodating in the 
matter of suppressing the inhuman cruelties which were 
taking place, soon came into conflict with the Hitler Govern- 
ment. On March 7th an official Government communique was 
issued : 

~ Tri view of the malicious reports in the foreign press as 
to what is taking place in Germany, serious measures 
against a number of foreign correspondents are in prep- 
aration. Some of the correspondents concerned have 
escaped the hands of the police by leaving the country. 
As far as the other correspondents are concerned, they 
will have to guarantee that in future they will avoid any 
malicious tendencies in their reports and any ambiguous 
statements. In consideration of this, the correspondents 
in question have not been expelled for the time being ; 
they have been granted a probationary period of two 
months. 55 

On April 5th the Hitler Government suffered a defeat at 
the hands of the Foreign Press Association. It had threatened 
the Association with a boycott if it did not remove its presi- 
dent, Mawrer, correspondent of the Chicago Daily News . The 
general ^neeting of the Association decided by 60 votes to 
7, with three abstentions, not to accept Mawrer 5 s resigna- 
ti&n. In the course of the following weeks public opinion 


192 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

abroad compelled the Hitler Government to make further 
retreats in its dealings with the foreign Press correspondents 
in Germany. 

The German Press Association was “ brought into con- 
formity 55 by the appointment of the Nazi Press chief, 
Dietrich, as president ; similar measures were applied 
to the German Newspaper Proprietors Association and 
the Association of Publishers of Periodicals. All district 
organisations of publishers and journalists were “ brought 
into conformity . 95 The German Press Association under its 
new president decided that in future no Jewish or Marxist 
journalists would be admitted to membership. 

The* “ Germanising 99 of its editorial staff and its humble 
submission to Hitlerite policy was not of much avail to the 
Rudolf Mosse Publishing Co., which owns the Berliner 
Tageblatt. Early in April the company was virtually 
expropriated and taken over by a newly-formed company 
controlled by a Nazi Commissioner ; a new editorial .staff .. 
which could furnish the necessary guarantees of loyalty to 
Hitler was appointed. 

Another example of the many cases in which non-work- 
ing-class papers have been “ brought into conformity 93 is 
that of the Dortmunder General Anzeiger, which was ec vol- 
untarily 39 transformed into an organ of the National 
Socialist Party. This paper has the largest printing works in 
Europe and the biggest circulation of all German news- 
papers outside of Berlin. As its circulation was mainly in 
the thickly populated industrial areas of the Rhine and 
Westphalia, its contents made some concessions to the anti- 
capitalist and anti-Fascist feelings of the workers there. On 
the formation of the Hitler Government the former editorial 
staff was dismissed, to enable the paper to be u brought 
voluntarily into conformity 33 along the usual lines. But this 
did not satisfy the Brown rulers. In the issue of April 20th, 
among various hymns of praise for the occasional Hitler’s 
birthday, there appeared a drawing of Hitler wifeich the 
Nazi leaders declared was a caricature. They therefore 
seized the issue and closed the offices of the paper. The 


i iff 


THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST CULTURE I93 

Dortmund police president entrusted the editor of the 
Nazi journal Red Earth with the management of the printing 
works. The Nazis then threatened the proprietor with the 
permanent prohibition of the Dortmunder General Anzeiger , 
on which the proprietor declared his readiness to transform 
the paper into an official Nazi organ. And thus the Nazis 
conquered this great printing establishment. 

It is not possible to enumerate all the prohibitions and 
warnings which have been directed against bourgeois papers 
and periodicals. The campaign of “ bringing into com 
formity 35 led to a dictatorial transformation of the whole of 
the German Press services. Readers of the newspapers which 
still appear in Germany are hermetically sealed off from all 
reliable foreign news. Over 250 foreign newspapers are 
forbidden in Germany, from the following countries : 
United States, 9, Argentine 2, Belgium 7, Canada 2, 
Danzig 3, Great Britain 5, France 31, Holland 9, Lithuania 
“ST’Tatvia 1, Luxemburg 5, Austria 37, Poland 24, Rumania 
1 3 Saar Territory 4, Sweden 1, Switzerland 26, Soviet 
Union 9, Spain 2, Czecho-Slovakia 66. 

Germany was the country which had the greatest literary 
output. The following announcement is significant of the 
fall in production during the first few weeks of the Hitler 
regime : 

“ According to the Frankfurter Z e ^ iun i of April 15th, 

1 933 > the course of the c national revolution 3 pro- 
duction in paper mills sank in many cases to 25 per 
cent. The Deutsche Allgemeine Z/eitung of April 22 nd 
reports that the publishing output in the first quarter of 
I 933 was 3 ° P er cent lower than in the same quarter of 
I 93 I * The export trade continues to register a decline. 
The German book trade has been deprived of its 
best customers and of a whole range of science and 
literamre.” 

0 

* 



Gt 


Chapter VII: BRUTALITY AND 
TORTURE 


». 


The National Socialist German Labour 
Party, which for years has been maintained by the Ger- 
man Caesars of industry ahd agriculture, has studied history 
to guide it in playing its part in the period of social decline. 
It learnt arson from Nero, the persecution of the Jews from 
the Middle Ages, the murder of Socialists from Mussolini. 
For many years the official documents of the National 
Socialist Party have been proclaiming the coming of a St. 
Bartholomew’s Night ; the official description has been “ the 
night of the long knife.” This Night began with the burning 
of the Reichstag, and it is not yet over. The workers and 
peasants have shown too much ^resistance ; too many" 
millions have rallied behind the banner of freedom. The 
National Socialist Labour Party has had to turn the St. 
Bartholomew’s Night into a St. Bartholomew’s year, and it 
is the first quarter of this year which is covered in the 
following report. 

The friends of the Hitler Government are always ready 
to repeat the government’s declaration that peace and order 
reign in Germany. Dementis are issued to calm feeling out- 
side of Germany, and festivals and parades are staged to 
distract attention from what is actually taking place. The 
few foreign tourists who still care to visit Germany under the 
present tyranny are not taken into storm troop barracks 
or into concentration camps. It is only by chance that the 
foreign visitor may be an eye-witness of the nightly tortures, 
shootings cc while trying to escape ” and secretly organised 
murders. Every message from foreign journalists to their 
newspapers, every telephone conversation, every visit they 
make, is carefully noted, and they are threatened with 
immediate expulsion. And when the cries of tortured 
victims in the cellars of storm troop barracks reach the 




BRUTALITY AND TORTURE 


195 


( ears of neighbours, when the wife of some tortured prisoner 
speaks out, when the brutality of the Nazis is actually seen 
by hundreds of witnesses, then the official explanation is 
| given that “ this is an exceptional case.” But at Essen on 
March 7th, 1933, Minister Goering officially proclaimed, to 
the applauding howls of a great mass meeting, that “ when 
wood is being planed there are always shavings.” 

' In reply it must be stated that these “ shavings ” have 

been organised for many years * that the methods of the 
j Middle Ages now employed by the Nazis have been worked 

j out and advocated for years by the National Socialist 

j leaders. It is the National Socialist leaders who have 

( organised the pogroms and lynchings, the burnings and the 
pillories, the tortures of the first, second and third degrees. 
The methods of the Middle Ages have been employed 
i publicly in so far as they were effective for propaganda. 
1 But t he tortures have been carried out in private, in the 
darkness of the night, liven now millions of Germans are 
| ignorant of them. 

j The Terror by Night. The secret terror has raged 

' continuously since February 27th, 1933. There is a general 

J “ settlement of accounts.” Arrests are made systematically, 
tortures carefully arranged. And the Ministerial reply to 
scruples about torturing is to lay down how far these 
tortures can go : 

“ So long as I do not see any Communists running round 
with their ears and noses cut off there is no reason to 
get excited.” 

Tortures up to this point are therefore authorised. There 
3 g is no need to examine the victims too closely or to investi- 
gate the Enunciations ; the Nazis in their arrests can follow 
the instructions of the French cardinal who told the faithful 
on the original St. Bartholomew’s Night : “ Kill them all, 
God will be able to pick out his Christians ! ” 

Every day we are being visited by new victims of these 




196 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

tortures by night, who show us their still open ^n^which 
print below declarations made on oath and reports wh 
we have investigated with the utmost care. 

The Torture Chambers. One report mate 
the Nazis have established a regular tariff for beating 
prisoners : “ Simple membership of the Social Democratic 
Party is punished with thirty blows with a rubber trun- 
cheon on the naked body. Membership of the Communist 
Party is usually punished with forty blows. T ® Pg a J “ 
increased .when the prisoner has been an official oi a 
political party or trade union. The punishment is to be 
modified in accordance with the conduct of die prisoner 

One prisoner, Bernstein, was given fifty lashes because he 
was a Communist, and then a further fifty lashes because 
he was “ also a Jew.” There are therefore several degrees ol 
torture, a fact which is brought out in the various de c l a r a- ^ 
tions which are in our possession. ... 

The torture begins from the moment when the victim iS 
“ fetched 55 from his home. The person who opens the door 
is threatened with revolvers ; die members of the family are 
threatened ; furniture and books are destroyed or thrown 
out into the street. Authors’ manuscripts, the fruit of many 
months of work, are destroyed. In the case ^workers, 
whatever remains of their wages is confiscated, lhe family 
is made to witness the proceedings. The children see then- 
father struck in his face by unknown young men ; the wile 
sees her husband’s face streaming with blood, bhe asks 
what they are going to do with him. She gets only an insult 
in reply. Then the prisoner is kicked out of the room and 
down the steps to the car which is waiting for him. 

One report states that after an arrest had been made the 
Nazis began to beat their prisoner on the way down the 
stairs. The leader of the storm troop suddenly ordered them 
to stop beating the prisoner, who then saw that people m 
the house opposite had been roused. The storm troopers 

are “ disciplined ” in public. _ * . 

But from the moment when the prisoner enters the Nazi 


BRUTALITY AND TORTURE 


197 


! barracks he is as much an outlaw as the Nazi leaders have 

| been threatening for years to make him. Any Nazi who 

meets the prisoner on the stairs or in the passages kicks or 
strikes him. Cowards have become murderers : day after 
1 day they wait outside the doors of the rooms where the 

I first degree of torture is applied, and make the prisoners 

run the gauntlet of whips and boots and rubber truncheons. 

Then the prisoner is admitted to the presence of the storm 1 

I troop leader or higher officer, and the “ trial ” begins. “ 

I The cc Court. 35 The judge sits behind a table ; three 
stars on his storm troop uniform give him judicial "powers 
' over all prisoners. Daggers and bayonets are stuck into the 
table, and there are flickering candles at each end. The 
prisoner is pushed forward to the table ; Nazis press closely 
round him. When he answers, they hit him ; if he declares 
they kick*him. Any attempt to defend himself 
is useless. There is no question of what the truth is ; the 
j trial is only a farce to provide a pretext for making another 

martyr. 

The prisoner hears the source of the denunciation which 
was the cause of his arrest, and thinks that he can at once 
disprove the charge ; he begins to say something, and then 

I * blows are rained down on him, and he is told not to speak 

unless he is asked a question. They ask him for addresses. 

They think that they will be able to make capital of the 
story that the leaders of the workers 5 movement have 
betrayed each other. But the prisoner refuses to say any- 
thing. Then the rubber truncheons are used again with 
furious rage. 

It is to the eternal honour of the German working-class 
j movement that thousands of workers have not flinched in 

j spite of all the brutality and torture inflicted on them ; 

I they have^refused to give new victims to their torturers. 

* 

Xhe Cellars. From the Court the prisoners are taken 
to the cellars, where they can see, in the semi-darkness, the 


198 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

flogging-benches standing ready. The air is thick with the 
smell of dried blood and sweat. The prisoner is thrown on to 
the flogging-bench, and steel rods hammer down on his 
back. Four of the Nazis do the beating. Each new blow 
cuts the raw flesh to pieces. Then they get tired, and push 
him into the next cellar, where he is no longer alone. 
Fellow victims are cowering in the corners ; the worst 
mutilated victims are writhing on straw sacks on the ground. 
Some have lost control afid are crying out. From the next 
room come the cries of the next victim. 

The prisoners in the adjoining room can now see every- 
thing, as someone has thought it right to leave the doors 
open. The next victim starts up at the first blow from the 
steel rods. His face is pale ; a new command makes him 
bow down again. His movement was “ criminal, 55 and the 
punishment was made more severe ; he was forced to count 
the blows in a loud voice, till the numbers could no l onge r 
be distinguished from his cries of p2in. v 

The half-unconscious prisoner is then pulled from the 
flogging-bench, and the storm troop leader walks forward 
and announces to the victim : <c Now you will be shot. 55 
The prisoner is placed with his face to the wall ; there is 
silence, broken only by the Nazis releasing the safety- 
catches of their revolvers. Then shots : the prisoner hears 
the whizz of bullets past his ears, and begins to realise that 
they are not hitting him. At last he sinks in a swoon, and 
before he loses consciousness he hears the Nazis laughing. 

We have many reports of similar treatment, and give the 
following as typical : 

“ I lived in the Judenstrasse, near number 50, where a 
storm troop detachment was quartered. On March 
19th the arbitrary arrests I previously reported were 
resumed. About 9 p.m., shortly after another prisoner 
had been taken in, the neighbours heard a shot through 
the open window of the Nazi office. I was determined to 
see what was happening, and discovered that there w«is 
a man, presumably the prisoner, standing doubled up 


BRUTALITY AND TORTURE 


199 

against the window. Then more shots rang out, but the 
bullets did not hit the man. Then I saw him fall to the 
ground, and Nazis bent down over him laughing. One 
voice shouted several times : ‘ Now then, get up ! Go 
home ! 9 The prisoner seemed not to hear this shout ; 
he had fainted with fear. Is it strange that one should 
hear of men being driven mad by this ? 55 

Hundreds of prisoners have been through this. They have 
been dragged from the torture-chambers and thrown into 
the “ waiting-room 59 among their comrades. At the last 
moment before they sink down exhausted on *their straw 
; sacks they are told that they are to be shot the following 

( morning. They are in such pain that they are indifferent 

to the new threat. But when they come to themselves some 
i time afterwards, they begin to think about it. They have 

j no reason to doubt that the threat will be carried out. So 

^ ~ w Jxcy sit there among tlfbir groaning friends, waiting for their 
last morning to come. During the night the guard leans 
1 against the door and sings : “ Dawn, dawn, you light my 

way to early death.” (A report from the Hedemannstrasse 
barracks in Berlin gives this detail.) Sworn declarations 
repeatedly show that in many cases the prisoners have been 
left for days with this threat hanging over them. They hear 
the beatings beginning again in the adjoining room. The 
doors are kicked open, so that they can see the tortures. 
From time to time one of the victims is called out and 
* “ tried ” again. 

The Nazis delight in Filth. A new prisoner, who 
looks like an intellectual, is pushed into the torture- 
chamber. The Nazis hold his head, force his teeth apart, 
and then pour a bottle of castor oil down his throat, 
j Then they ask him politely to take down his trousers ; 

j he unbuttons his braces, and his trousers drop. The 

< Nazis ^o not put him on the flogging-bench ; they make 

f ^lim stand doubled up. The Nazis wait a quarter of an 

f hour. Then they pick up the steel rods, and begin to 


9 



200 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

beat him. He screams and stands upright ; the Nazis press 
him down and beat him again. Then suddenly his bowels 
empty. 

The Nazi leaders will deny these loathsome cruelties. But 
our archives show that these statements are true. And we 
have not only the declarations made by intellectuals and 
workers who have experienced this, but there is also in our 
possession a report of a confidential meeting of Nazis in 
Berlin, at which Dr. Goefebels, the Minister for Enlighten- 
ment, explained how he would deal with editors who 
happened to have different opinions from his : 

c< The* protective corps men must go to the offices of the 
paper concerned, and give each member of the editorial 
staff a litre of castor oil. 59 

The Nazis therefore only act in accordance with 
instructions. f ‘ * T11 ~~ 

The “ Red Cross 55 in Nazi Cellars. The Nazi doctors 
as a rule are only present at the actual torturing ; they 
are not to render any medical aid, but only to deter- 
mine whether the prisoner may still be beaten. They are 
like the doctors of the Inquisition : the torture is stopped 
when there is danger of the victim dying. 

All reports show that medical aid is only given when the 
victim appears to be dying. Injections are only made at the 
last minute. The victims are only carried away to the 
hospital when the medical expert certifies that they are 
dying. 

Propaganda to Justify the Terror. For years the 
National Socialist leaders had been preparing tl^e ground 
for the terror by systematic propaganda. This was directed 
in the first place against “ the November criminal^” — the 
revolutionaries of November 1918 — who were represented 
as having been responsible for all the sufferings of Germany 


BRUTALITY AND TORTURE 


201 


since 1918. Intensive propaganda was also directed against 
the Soviet Union. In My Fight> Hitler wrote : 

“It must never be forgotten that the rulers of present-day 
Russia are bloodstained common criminals, the scum of 
humanity.” 

And on March 10th, 1933, German wireless stations 
broadcast a “ Horst-Wessel ” play in which Hitler’s lies 
about the Soviet Union were repeated : that since 1917 
two million people had been murdered in Russia ; that the 
Soviets are the embodiment of lies and deceit, footing and 
robbery. 

} Then there was the systematic propaganda against the 

I u hereditary foe,” France. Hatred of France was carefully 

j nurtured, and the idea of revenge developed. 

The propaganda against the Jews is dealt with in another 
--'V__JJ 3 Ter : one example* shows its effect in the brutalities 
shown to Jewish victims of the terror : 

“ A doctor was beaten up in a Nazi barracks and was 
lying, seriously injured and covered with blood, on the 
straw. Someone who came into the room called atten- 
tion to how serious the doctor’s condition was. This 
made the Nazi guard furious with indignation, and from 
his excited statements it was possible to gather that his 
| section-leader had told the men the following legend : 

I all doctors who are Jews have for years been taking 

f revenge on German women who come under their care 

in hospitals by secretly cutting out their ovaries, so that 
only Jewish women could bear children and thus the 
Jews would rule Germany. The Nazi guard followed up 
this story by kicking the severely injured man in the 
I stomach.” 

$ 


v The Mood Guilt of the Nazi Leaders. The re- 

r sjjonsibility of the Nazi leaders not only for the methods of 

their organised gangs but for the murderous feelings among 



202 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 


their followers is made clear from statements made by the 
leaders both before and after their seizure of power. The 
present Minister of the Interior, Frick, declared that : 

cc It is not a bad thing if a few tens of thousands of 
Marxist functionaries come to harm. 59 

Stohr, the former vice-president of the Reichstag, told 
a mass meeting : e 

cc We will make the hemp industry prosper. 95 

Immediately after the new cabinet of Oldenburg was 
formed, the premier, Rover, announced : 

cc We will put the Marxists and the people of the Centre 
on the gallows to feed the ravens." 

On March 10th, 1933, Minister Goering spoke at aTBSr 
meeting in Essen : 

“ I would rather shoot a few times too short and too wide, 
but at any rate I would shoot." 

Goering’s words fell on fruitful soil. At the end of April 
the police president of Dortmund issued an instruction : 

“ In the last few days many Communist leaflets have been 
distributed. I order the police to make immediate use of 
their weapons against any attempt to distribute Com- 
munist leaflets." 

The Terror was Organised. 

1. On the night of the burning of the Reichstag 30 Nazi 
barracks were prepared for carrying out tortures in Berlin 
alone. Steel rods, whips, chains, cords for tying up prisoners, 
water-pails and castor oil were bought and take% to the 
barracks. That same night they were used. Doctors w^ye 
allocated to each barracks. 


r 


HKiiili 



Nazi Punitive Expedition against the working-class quarter of Dusseldorf-Bilk. 

Hundreds of workers were arrested and terribly maltreated. 

The young worker on the right of the picture had suffered such injuries that he could not raise his arms. 

TE NO. 10 4 


204 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

2. We are in possession of reports from a number of Ger- 
man towns showing that on that same evening the Nazis 
were fully mobilised, and guards were put round houses 
where working-class leaders lived, as well as at railway 
stations and post offices. 

3. A similar selection of victims was made in all towns. 

4. The arrests were almost everywhere left to the storm 
troops and their special detachments. The police merely 
accompanied them, as the^Nazis were not at that time quite 
sure of their attitude. 

5. The enrolment of storm troopers as auxiliary police 
began on February 22nd ; this is a definite indication that 
action on a large scale was contemplated and that it was 
proposed to keep the appearance of legality as dong as 
possible. 

6. In his capacity as Commissioner for Prussia, Goering, 
officially, by an order issued on February 17th, autho riml 
shooting without any form of trial : 

“ Every man who, in pursuance of this duty, makes use of 
his weapons, will be protected by me regardless of the 
consequences of his action. On the other hand, every 
man who from any false scruples does not use his 
weapons can anticipate criminal proceedings against 
himself. Every officer must at all times remember that 
omission to take the necessary measures is more serious 
than a mistake made in applying such measures. 55 

7. High officials of the National Socialist Party have 

constantly been present in the torture-cellars of the Hede- 
mannstrasse in Berlin and in other barracks. They directed 
the acts of brutality, and conducted trials. We have definite 
evidence, for example, that Count Helldorf, leader of the 
Nazi storm troops, who was and remains in daily com- 
munication with Goering and Hitler, held parades of the 
victims of the brutalities. r 

% 

Our Documents. We have in our archives 536 declara^ 
tions made by persons who had been severely ill-treated. 


BRUTALITY AND TORTURE 


205 


The statements have been checked and found to be correct. 

One hundred and thirty-seven certificates show that the 
victims have received serious permanent injuries. Three 
hundred and seventy-five declarations mention that the 
victims, before being allowed to leave the torture-houses, 
were forced to sign statements that they had been 44 well 
treated. 5 ’ 

Our material from the towns, and villages of the Third 
Empire supports the conclusion that since February 27th 
about sixty thousand people have been subjected to 
violence. * 

An Unemployed Worker. 

46 On Monday, March 6th, 5 p.m., two storm troopers 
and a leader came to the door of the flat occupied by 
pr-Ae Reichstag deploy 4 X, 5 and demanded admittance. 
I was in the flat sorting out the washing. I opened the 
door, at first on the chain. A revolver was thrust through 
the opening, and I was ordered to open the door imme- 
diately. I was asked where 4 X 5 was living, but could 
give no information. Then they took me off with them. 
They took me in a side-car to the Bottcherstrasse. There 
they began to ill-use me. I still have, at the time of 
writing this, the marks of what they did to me : both 
eyes beaten blue, a bite on my left temple, my hands 
still swollen and scratched. They called me a 4 young 
murderer 5 and similar names, without the slightest 
ground. Then they made me wash off the blood which 
was streaming from my forehead, mouth and nose. I 
had hardly washed it off when I was taken into the front 
room and again they started beating me. I covered my 
face with my hands, or they would certainly have broken 
myj^ws. 

44 Bu^that did not satisfy them. Together with two other 
prisoners I was taken in a taxi to the Hedemannstrasse, 
* with two motor cyclists as escort. I was told I should be 
thankful that they were so humane, as they 4 worked 5 




206 brown book of the hitler terror 

differently in the lower groups. I nearly had to laugh 
when they told me this. 

44 At the Hedemannstrasse I stated when they examined 
me that I had been begging and had always got some- 
thing at the door where c X 9 lived. Because of this I 
had gone there many times, also to talk politics, and 
eventually Frau 4 X 9 gave me some housework to do, 
beating carpets and so on. I told the Nazis that I had 
been very glad to get such treatment from Communists. 
I told them that I was a Communist sympathiser and 
had voted List 3. Then the man in charge said : e We 
can -always do with people who tell the truth. It is not 
you we want, it is your leaders we want to destroy and 
settle accounts with. 999 

But Workers are Brutally Beaten. 44 On the evening 
of March 5th I was with si^ other workers in. a 
public-house in Berlin North ; we were waiting to 
hear the election results. A group of uniformed 
storm troop men came in, pointed their revolvers at us 
and made us go with them, with our hands above our 
heads, to the storm troop quarters in the X-Strasse. 
There we were first beaten up as 4 Communist sows. 9 
Then we were put into a car and taken to the Nazi 
headquarters in Hedemannstrasse. We were chased up 
to the fourth floor, and driven along a corridor with 
repeated blows and lashes with riding whips. The 
corridor was 4 decorated 9 from top to bottom with 
4 conquered 9 Social Democratic banners and posters. 
There was a figure against the wall which was supposed 
to represent Ernst Thaelmann, in the uniform of the 
Red Front, hanging on a gallows. 

44 We were driven with blows into a general room. We 
were forced to go down on our knees and sheut 4 Heil 
Hitler, 9 also to say the 4 Our Father 9 and sing th% Horst- 
Wessel song. Anyone who did not obey instantaneously 
was beaten till he was unconscious. Later we were placed 
against the wall of the room, and continuous volleys 


BRUTALITY AND TORTURE 207 

were fired close above our heads. After they had left us 
alone for a little, we were put through the first 4 inter- 
rogation, 5 Each of us was summoned alone into a room 
where there were about six Nazis with riding whips. 
We had to strip, and were then told that we should be 
beaten until we told everything. They demanded that 
we should confess the most impossible things. We were 
asked to give the names and addresses of Communist 
officials, and to reveal imaginary hiding places of arms 
and duplicating machines. During the interrogation we 
were beaten the whole time. Then we were* given half 
an hour to think things over, and then the torture began 
again. 

“ Some anti-Fascists who had formerly belonged to the 
Nazis had their heads shaved except for a forelock which 
was tied together. We were told that these people were 

„ ^- 4 ° be shot next morning ; when we arrived, they were 

lying unconscious on the floor of the general room. 
Besides ourselves, there were about 50 other Communist 
and Social Democratic workers in the room. When we 
were released, a document was put in front of us stating 
that we had left the building without any injury to our 
health. We signed. I found two of those who had been 
with me some time after in the * Am Friedrichshain 5 
hospital. One of them had a bullet wound in the neck. 55 

Other Typical Cases. 

“ J.M., a worker living in the Werderstrasse, Berlin, was 
taken away by storm troop men during the night of 
March 27th-28th and severely ill-treated in the Nazi 
barracks in the Rudowerstrasse. His whole body is 
covered with open wounds. 

f 

u R., 4 i worker living in Schoneburg, who was known to 
do political work, was found in his flat and there 
* severely injured with steel rods, then being taken to a 
Nazi barracks. At the time when this report was being 




208 brown book of the hitler terror 


written it was not yet known what had become of him. 
His flat was completely smashed up by the Nazis when 
they came to arrest him. 5 ' 

“ Max F., a worker in W., Brandenburg, was attacked 
during the night by about 40 armed storm troop men. 
The door of his flat was broken in, and they started 
shooting wildly into the flat. He was hit in the back, but 
managed to jump through a window and escape ; as 
he ran he was hit again in the arm, and another shot 
grazed his body. He got away, and was taken in by a 
hospital. It had to be kept secret that he was in the 
hospital ; every day his relatives were threatened. 55 

“ Paul Paprocki, a worker of 36 years of age, living in 
number 23, Malplakstrasse, was^aken from his ro om^3 t |, _ 
3 a.m. on the night of March 26th~27th. A strong de- 
tachment of storm troop men took him to their head- 
quarters in the Utrechterstrasse ; when he refused to 
give any addresses they began to ill-use him. Some 
hours later he was released with serious injuries from 
blows. 55 


“ The 18-year old worker Kirt Hackenbusch, Griinthaler- 
strasse 63, was arrested with three of his friends on 
March 26th and taken to the Nazi quarters in the 
Prinzenstrasse. They were beaten with heavy leather 
straps. The prisoners refused to say the c Our Father. 5 
Further beating. Some hours later the prisoners were 
taken to an accident station, where they were forced by 
threats to state that the Nazis had rescued them from 
an attack. In addition to cuts in his face and back, 

Hackenbusch has a severe wound on his head?' 5 

\ 

“Jacob Ickler, a worker living in Gassel, Kettengasse 
20 years old, was carried off on March 20th, 1933 by 


fu 


BRUTALITY AND TORTURE 


209 

Nazis who searched his father’s fiat. He was taken to 
the town hall, laid on a flogging-bench, and then beaten 
with rubber truncheons. Some blow's struck the lower 
half of his face and his temples. His back and upper 
legs were streaming with blood. A doctor’s certificate 
testifies to the condition in which he was found. The 
doctor’s name is not given here, as in Germany of the 
Third Empire it is no longer safe to give medical 
attention to a man who has been injured. 55 

Urine for Thirst. Wilhelm Sollmann, a Social ^Demo- 
cratic member of the Reichstag and a former Minister of 
the Reich, writes as under of his ill-usage at the hands of 
storm troop and protective corps men : 

£C On Thursday, March 9th, shortly after three o’clock in 

j —th e afternoon, thr&e cars filled with storm troop and 

protective corps men pulled up at my house. As at that 
moment I was speaking on the telephone to a member 
of the town council, I was able to tell him : ‘ Nazis are 
forcing their way in, give the mobile police the alarm.’ 

<c At that moment a number of men armed with loaded 
revolvers, sticks and knives forced their way into my 
study. Before I could say a word I was struck down at my 
desk. The men were in a kind of frenzy of hate and joy 
at being able to take revenge on me. Most of the men 
went to the other rooms in the house and in a few 
minutes literally smashed everything to splinters. ... I 
was hit and thrown into an open car. My wife called 
out : * Where are you taking my husband ? ’ One of 
them answered jeeringly : 4 You’ll soon know that ! *’ 
First they drove me over the grass towards the wood. 
As there was a storm troop man sitting in front of me 
and flourishing a revolver the whole time, I thought 
thajrthey were going to shoot me in the nearest wood. 
But they drove on, abusing me all the time-some of 
# the abuse was quite insane— and then we crossed the 
bridge near Kalk. There they drove slowly, and all 




210 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

along the High Street, which was full of people, I was 
exhibited to the crowd : e This is the great Sollmann ! 
See how small he is ! 5 I was taken to the district head- 
quarters of the National Socialists in the Mozartstrasse. 
I was chased up the stairs with blows and kicks and 
lashes, and then into the conference room. They had 
lowered the blinds so that the room was half in darkness. 
I was to be put before the tribunal. A large swastika 
banner was spread over the table. I saw that my 
colleague, Efferoth, was sitting near the window, in the 
same plight as myself. I had hardly taken a seat near him 
when the tortures began, and they went on for two hours. 

c< First a man in storm troop uniform, whom my colleague 
said was Councillor Ebele, made a short speech attack- 
ing Efferoth, saying that retribution was now to come. 
Then protective corps men began attacking us with 
their fists. For about half an houj: Efferoth and I l asLon 
the floor, so exhausted that we could not get up. All the 
time we were being hit and kicked, and now and then 
our hair was pulled and our heads knocked together. 

“ Eventually we were pulled up and forced into chairs ; 
a man held our hands behind the chair, while another 
forced us to open our teeth and poured a quarter of a 
litre of castor oil down our throats. One of our tormen- 
tors shouted for salts to increase our torture, but appar- 
ently salts could not be got quickly enough. Then they 
gave us a short rest again. I begged for a glass of water. 
When it was given to me I saw its colour and therefore 
only used it to pour over my hands, which were covered 
with blood. One of the men shouted : ‘ Why don’t you 
drink the water ? 5 At the same moment he threw the 
glass with what was left of its contents into my face. 
Then we were struck and kicked again. 

“ All at once our tormentors seemed to get uneasy. I 
thought that the police must have been notified of our 
being attacked and carried off. About 5 o’clock the 
protective corps men took hold of us and with a shoift 
of £ Into the coal cellar I ’ literally flung us down the 


BRUTALITY AND TORTURE 


21 1 


stairs. Apparently the coal cellar was locked, and they 
seemed to be in a hurry to get rid of us. They therefore 
pushed us across the street, with blows and lucks — our 
faces were already a bloody pulp — to a motor. We were 
made to squat on the floor. 

“ The ill-treatment was carried on in the closed motor ; 
one blow struck me in the right eye. We pulled up at 
police headquarters. Although we were in a state of 
collapse we were forced to run in and up the stairs. . . . 
One of the Nazis said that next day we would have to 
walk in front of the Nazis 5 torchlight procession and at 
the finish we would be thrown on to the heap of torches. 

. , . The president of police advised us to let ourselves 
be put under protective arrest. I referred to my parlia- 
mentary immunity ; he agreed with what I said, but 
nevertheless advised that Efferoth and I should go into 
prison hospital.* 

“ In the hospital we were sewn up and bandaged. During 
the torturing one of the protective corps men had 
slowly and deliberately pressed a knife into Efferoth’s 
side. The doctor stated that it would have been danger- 
ous if it had gone a centimetre deeper. . . . Next day the 
Press published a report that we had been attacked by 
political opponents and suffered c slight 5 injuries. 35 

A Doctor and his Wife tortured. 

<c On June 3rd, at four in the morning, there was a ring at 
the door of the flat. A number of men shouted : £ Police ! 
Open the door ! 5 My wife replied : c Please come in the 
morning, I don’t open the door at night. 5 Then there 
were heavy blows against the door ; it was broken in, 
and five men in storm troop uniform, without police 
badg^i, forced their way into the flat, holding revolvers 
out m us. I asked what they wanted, and they replied 
with a shower of blows with their fists and rubber 

* truncheons. ‘ Hold your mouth, who asked you to 
speak ? 5 They ordered c Hands up ! 3 Some of them 


212 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

seized my throat and pressed me against the wall. 

5 It’s all up with you Jews, you Bolshevik rabble ! ’ 
When I tried to say something they struck me again. 
u They searched the flat, smashed in the drawers of my 
desk, filled a trunk with books, manuscripts and letters, 
and ordered me to 4 Get out of it ! ’ My wife, who did 
not want to leave me in the hands of these bandits, 
came with me, although she was not told to. . . . They 
kicked me down the steps. When my wife protested 
against their treating a sick man like that, she was 
cursed ^and pushed off the seat of the car : £ You impu- 
dent sow, keep quiet, or you’ll get it too ! ’ The car 
pulled up at a house, in front of which there was a 
group of storm troop and protective corps men. As 
soon as we got out of the car we were driven along with 
rubber truncheons and dog- whips, and up the stairs to 
the fourth floor. I was hardly airle to climb up, as _ 

had influenza and my heart was weak, so they beat me 
furiously until I reached the top. I was pushed into a 
corridor, and my wife and I were made to run the 
gauntlet through Nazis who struck at us as we passed. 

I was then taken to a separate room. I stated that there 
must be some mistake and asked to be allowed to clear 
it up.” 

The prisoner, who had worked at a Berlin hospital for 
seven years, and had since been chief doctor in a section of 
the Municipal Hospital in Neukolln, learnt in the course of 
a long interrogation that the absurd charge was made 
against him that he was the head of the Communist propa- 
ganda activities in the Reich. When he protested his 
innocence he was beaten. He continues his report : 

cc They threw themselves on me with bestial fury, using 
rubber truncheons, leather whips and steel rols. They 
hit particularly at my head, jumping up on tables and 
chairs and hitting mercilessly at me from above ifiy 
head. My face was streaming with blood. My cries for 


BRUTALITY AND TORTURE 213 

help soon stopped : a few blows with an iron rod, and I 
doubled up and fell unconscious. 5 ’ 

The victim further reports that he was soon in a condition 
in which he might die at any moment, and the Nazis felt 
compelled to summon medical aid. He was able, however, 
to keep track of what was happening, and his account 
includes the following : 

u There were young men sitting in the room. Their faces 
were pale, and many had bandages round their heads. 
They were waiting to be interrogated. Now and then 
Nazis would come into the room and insist on all the 
prisoners jumping up and greeting them with c Heil 
Hitler. 5 Those who did not obey the order promptly 
enough were lashed with whips and forced to stand up 
and sit down again. They had to do this ten or more 
*^t5?nes in quick succ&sion. 

£fi Storm troop men came in and took revolvers and am- 
munition from the drawers of the desk. The drawers 
were full of revolvers and each Nazi selected the one he 
liked best. Other Nazis came in looking for the list of 
volunteers for Austria (!). 

“ A man who had sworn at a storm troop man some days 
before was pulled out of his bed that night and arrested. 
A woman, who had said that a man who had gone over 
from the Communists to the Nazis was mad, was arrested 
at her flat and brought to the Nazi headquarters. 

4 4 All at once someone shouted out s Pieck and Ullstein 
have been arrested and will be brought here ! 5 The 
storm troop men raved with delight, and swung their 
rubber truncheons round them. 4 Let them come ! 5 
Someone said that the worker Schulze had come. All 
the Nazis went out of the room. For a quarter of an 
hour J? heard them raging out in the corridor. Then a 
shor t man about thirty years of age was pushed into the 

t room. His right eye was full of blood. In the interroga- 
tion he admitted that he was a member of the Red Aid. 


214 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

He was accused of having been present when a storm 
troop man was murdered. He-denied this. He said that 
•he had already been arrested on suspicion of this charge 
and then set free again. He was beaten with dog-whips 
and ordered to answer 6 Yes 5 to every question put to 
him. He was beaten until he answered 4 Yes. 5 4 Are 
you a murderer, you scoundrel ? 5 He answered c No. 5 
He was then beaten harder. His whole face was covered 
with blood. He wiped»his face with his sleeve. 4 You’ve 
admitted it now. 5 He replied : 4 It was you who com- 
pelled me to say it. 5 They beat him again. He was 
asked how many children he had brought into the world 
anS with how many women he had slept, and whether 
all his children were such idiots as he was. 

44 Then he was sent into the kitchen to have his head 
shaved. When he came back, he was pushed in front of a 
fragile old man, a clergyman from Lichterfelde. The 
white-haired old gentleman w&s told to hold oi!P" lift? 1 • 
hand to him and say : 4 Good-day, comrade. 5 The old 
man held out his hand and said : 4 1 shake your hand, 
you are a suffering human being. 5 They all laughed : 

4 That’s how you greet a murderer ! 5 The old man 
answered : 4 And even , if he is, he is a man who has 
been tortured, and you are the embodiment of force, 
and force is not eternal. You cannot break my convic- 
tions with rubber truncheons : you are national and I 
an international. 5 This courageous act of the white- 
haired old man made some of the Nazis look abashed, 
and when some of them rushed at him the others held 
them back; 

44 After midnight I was taken to the interrogation room, 
where I saw my wife, who was as pale as a ghost. 
She whispered to me : 4 1 can’t bear it any longer : I 
must throw myself out of the window ! They are going 
to say that you are a spy of the Cheka and shobt you ! 5 
4 Don’t do anything stupid, pull yourself together ! 5 
This exchange of words was enough' to rouse the Na$i 
in charge to fury ; he was so tired (or drunk) that he 


BRUTALITY AND TORTURE 215 

could liardly sit up. My wife v/as led away. My condi- 
tion grew worse, and I asked for a doctor. I was taken 
to the room of the officer in charge, and my wife was 
allowed to give me something to drink. 55 

In spite of the victim's critical condition the storm 
troop detachment was determined to force the doctor to 
“ confess 55 : 

44 The man pulled out his revolver and yelled : 4 Three 
bullets, one in your forehead, one in your mouth, one 
in your stomach, and then it's all over arfd you'll be 
thrown on the dung-heap. 5 I lay silent and quite still. 

. . . He raised his fist and struck me in the face : 4 In 
a couple of minutes it will be all over with you. I’ll hang 
you from the window. Fve hanged people in Kiev like 
that. Only a few minutes more : when I leave the room 
^ will be too latf*, whether you say it or not. You 
miserable scoundrel ! What is the Cheka doing ? What 
is the Ogpu doing ? Are you going to talk or not ? 5 I lay 
still, and he kicked me in the stomach as hard as he 
could. I lost consciousness. 55 

A Doctor Decoyed into a Trap. Although every victim 
of the Nazis deserves equal mention, we must quote the 
case of another doctor on account of its special features. The 
following report is taken from the Saarbriick Arbeiter Stimme : 

44 On March 17th there was a regular meeting of the 
Berlin Medical Association. After the lecture the chair- 
man, Professor Goldscheider, head of the University 
Clinic, a man seventy years of age, asked his colleagues 
to remain for a few minutes, as he wanted to show them 
a particularly interesting case. Then a patient completely 
swaged in bandages was brought in, and Professor 
Goldscheider explained : 4 Gentlemen, this patient is 
^ our colleague Dr. Lust. The day before yesterday 
he received a telephone call in the evening summoning 


2x6 


BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 


him to a patient in Lichterfelde. When he reached 

inThk h tt W w met b ^ 0rm tro °P men and iH-treated 
rrxble way. These words caused great indigna- 

brudSa^T meetm xr The welI ; known Professor Sauer- 
that h erman Nationalist, jumped up and declared 

into t. T- Pr f ared t0 take the victim °f the Nazis 
nto his clinic As a result of this experience something 

like a panic has spread through Berlin doctors, many 
of whom fear that when they are called to a patieS 
they may meet a similar terrible fate.” 

A Woman 46 Years Old Whipped. During the night of 

DemocTat MarCh 2 ° th - Tuesd ^ March 2rft the K 

Scfed in h C er W n a m COUnCill ° r; Marie J ankow ski, was at- 
A T h flat ( Ber S manns trasse 18, Kopenick, Berlin) 

A laundry van pulled up in front of the house • twenty 

e stairs. Six men forced their way into her flat witTT 

c adY - ^ Jank ° WSki Was taken * SS 

thp T oroxnunist officials who were already in it to 
£ SS S i”l h f rad ''“ r *“l rf "asis in LpeScl 
clothes ai r C ° Urtyard She was forced to take off her 

a Sack-red goldV behch Whkh Was covered wkh 

* - ZIZ 

beattn merdkssly ™ th 

strtf At^hoST 6 Fr \ U Jankowski was Put out into the 

her and ton^c h JT ? C m0rnin S some passers-by found 
£ , d took her to her home in a taxi. The doctor certified 

dan§ r US - ° nC kidney had “ 

on her bodv S?r ere ; VaS not a “and spot left 

gve the names idTddraSof woS. The^f™* 
me count the colours of the Republic and lay foS 



218 brown book of the hitler terror 

words instead of Black-Red-Gold. They asked me 
questions like : Have you had any money from the 
Welfare Department ? Have you housed and fed 
Communists ? Have you stolen shoes from unem- 
ployed workers ? Have you made a list of Nazi shops to 
be boycotted ? Every time I answered c No 5 I was 
given a new shower of blows. When I cried out, the 
fifth of my tormentors pressed my face into the rags. 

“ After I had had at least a hundred blows I fell off the 
bench. I was then pulled off the ground and given such 
a blow in my face that I fell in a comer, damaging my 
knee. Then together with the two Communist workers, 
who were also being tortured, I was forced to sing 
Deutschland , Deutschland iiber AUes. 
iC I was compelled to sign a declaration that I would 
leave the Social Democratic Party, that I would never 
take part in politics again, and that I would report 
every Thursday to the Nazi office. Then I was^vgft 
different treatment. I was given a glass of water. My 
clothes were brushed and given back to me. The leader 
told one of the men to c take the lady out . 5 The man 
held me up when I was about to fall down, and shut 
the door after me with a polite c Good evening ! 5 
“ My husband reported the facts to the police, but was 
told that they were powerless.” 

What was it that made these young lads carry out the in- 
human cruelties recorded above and in the photograph ? 
This hate was directed against a woman who for years had 
been in a responsible position, giving relief where it was 
needed, a woman old enough to be their mother. There 
is no question of this having been a private act of revenge. 
The lads not only made the woman strip and beat her, they 
also demanded names and addresses of Social Democratic 
Party members. They were acting on instruction^from the 
Nazi leaders. The leaders not only hushed up this crime, 
but when it had become known abroad started proceedings 
against her for spreading “ atrocity stories.” 


c 


BRUTALITY AND TORTURE 219 

Nerve Specialist Exiled After Being Beaten. On 

Tuesday March 21st the nerve specialist Dr. Fraenkel, 
whose patients are mainly working-class people, was 
arrested in his flat in Berlin by a large detachment of 
storm troop men. He was taken to the Nazi barracks in 
the General-Papestrasse and kept there till Thursday. In 
these two days he was interrogated several times and on 
each occasion beaten with steel rods and dog-whips. The 
results of this ill-treatment, including damage to an eye 
by a lash from a whip, were established beyond question 
when he was released. Dr. Fraenkel was released, on March 
23rd, after he had signed an undertaking for himself and 
his wife, that they would immediately leave Germany and 
never return. Dr. Fraenkel, who is now living abroad, 
reported as follows on some of the details of his treat- 
ment : 

^ cc While I was there aiout 15 young workers were brought 
into the room where I had been put. I can testify 
that these young workers were most cruelly ill-treated. 
As a doctor, I am of the opinion that at least eight of 
them must have succumbed to the injuries they received. 
After they had been tied up and lighted cigarettes had 
been pressed into the soles of their feet, the storm troop 
men continued torturing them cruelly for hours. A 
doctor Philippsthal, of Biesdorf, Berlin, was brought in 
at the same time as I was. He was seriously wounded. 
I am very doubtful whether he got through alive.” 
(Editorial note : On March 23rd, Dr. Philippsthal was 
taken to the IJrbank Hospital, where he did in fact 
die.) 

Reichsbanner and Social Democrat Officials. The 
dementis issued by the Nazi Government always try to 
represe^? the excesses in the Nazi barracks as the arbitrary 
acts of individuals. We print here a number of reports from 
CJiassel, which make it perfectly clear how closely the brutal 
acts are connected with the Nazi leadership. The Nazis 



220 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

did not take much trouble to distinguish between cc trials 55 
and torturings which took place in different rooms of the 
same house. A deposition made by Hans Quer, a Reichs- 
banner leader, contains the following : 

<c On March 24th, 1933, at about one o’clock, I was 
arrested by four storm troop men and one civilian, 
and taken to the Town Hall. They said : 6 Herr Quer, 
you must come with ms, 3 and then I was taken along, 
two men holding my arms. I was taken down the out- 
side steps, several Nazis who were at the top calling 
out to the public : 4 Here comes the Reichsbanner 
general Quer ! 5 I was taken to the public hall. The 
storm troop leader who took me is a commercial 
traveller, selling gin. He was formerly employed 
in the Welfare Department ; he stole some money 
and was dismissed and sentenced to four months 5 
imprisonment. One of the stoiSn troop men then^tode 
my particulars, including what Party I belonged to. 
Then I was informed that I could go. 

“ As I went out two Nazis got hold of me and prevented 
me from going. One of them went in to the man who had 
taken my particulars. Soon after, he came back and 
waved his hand, indicating that I was to be taken 
down to the cellar. There I was met by ten to fifteen 
storm troop men, who ordered me to take off my hat 
and coat. Then I was taken into a dark cellar, where 
there was a bench ; one of the men went in front with an 
electric torch. The torch went out. I was forced down 
on to the bench, and for ten or fifteen minutes was 
beaten with rubber truncheons in a most brutal and 
inhuman way. When I fell off the bench half unconscious 
and begged them not to be so inhuman, they jeered at 
me and started beating me harder than ever. When I 
was coming out of the cellar I did not wa£; quickly 
enough for them, and I was told : 4 You’ve had too 
little, if you don’t hurry up you’ll be brought back ip 
again.’ ” 


BRUTALITY AND TORTURE 


221 


Other Cases in Cassel. 

tc Martin Meyer, aged 30, a municipal official, of Bottner- 
strasse 4, was taken out of the Municipal Offices where 
1 he was working, at 12.30 on March 24th, by storm 

troop men, and taken to the public hall in the Karl- 
strasse. There he was taken into a dark cellar, laid on 
a bench, and beaten with rubber truncheons for half 
an hour, with one short interval. One blow hit his nose, 
and another his right eye.” 

■n 

“ Kaschel Seppel, trade union secretary, Schillstrasse 14, 
Cassel, was taken from the trade union house, along 
with Gerke, another trade union secretary, by eight 
I storm troop men, on March 23rd, 1933, 5 p.m. They 

were told they were to be tried at the public hall. They 
were put into the large hall. They heard cries coming 
fc from the rooms beJow. They waited an hour. They 
were then taken by eight men into a dark cellar, laid 
across a table, and beaten by six men with rubber 
truncheons. They are now still confined to bed and 
under medical treatment. Their kidneys appear to be 
injured ; their urine is mixed with blood. Their backs, 
buttocks and legs are injured.” 

cc Ball, Heinrich, a shopkeeper of Ludwigstrasse 2, Cassel, 
was arrested in his shop at about 3 p.m. on March 
24th, 1933, by four storm troop men, and taken to the 
public hall. He was beaten in the street, and threatened 
that he would be shot if he tried to escape. Maltreated 
in the public hall. He was made to take down his 
trousers, and beaten for quarter of an hour with rubber 
truncheons. Since then he has been in Cassel Hospital. 55 

/ ’ 

“ Christian Wittrock, age over 40, manager of the local 

# health insurance department at Cassel, was taken out 
of his office by two storm troop men on March 24th, 



222 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

I 933- He was taken down the outside steps, then through 
a crowd of people to the public hall in the Karlstrasse. 
1 here he was asked particulars about himself, and then 
the Nazi in charge said : ‘ Wittrock is discharged.’ 
rie was then taken out as if he was going to be set free 
but then taken into a dark cellar, laid on a bench 
there, and beaten with rubber truncheons. Two blows 
on his head ; his skin cut on his back, his buttocks and 
his legs. His clothes were stained with blood, and partly 
torn, also his shoes. Then he was taken back into the 
hall and there beaten again. He is now under medical 
treatment.” 


Even an Officer Maltreated. 

In the second week of March a retired lieutenant, Anhalt 
now district surveyor, living at Germaniastrasse i 2 ’ 
I empelhof, Berlin, was arrested fn his flat by three storiiT 
troop men and one civilian. He immediately gave the 
alarm to tne police, who arrived at his flat but refused 
to interfere. The storm troop men took Anhalt to the 
Hedemannstrasse. There he was first struck by the 
civilian for having called the police. Then he was taken 
into a room where there were already 12 or iq men 

‘Oh A , storm tT00 P man, whom they called 

berfahrer, . took charge of the lieutenant. There 
was no mention of the fact that Anhalt was charged 
with anything ; Oberfahrer ’ only knew that he had 
a former offlcer in front of him. He began to deliver 
punishment with two accomplices, and did not stop 
eating Anhalt until blood was streaming from his 

v d nose : Then he lifted up the injured man and 
showed him to the other prisoners lying groaning on the 

is°in sudh^a/ f SWine is a Iieut enant, and 

a u , , h a frlght that he ^n’t stand straight ’ As 

AnS ^ 5 hmd hlS knees ’ and repeated this tiil 
Anhalt fell down. Another beating followed, which 


BRUTALITY AND TORTURE 223 

however did not seem to break the prisoner's spirit to 
the desired extent. Anhalt endured the blows in 
silence, and the storm troop man shouted in fury : 
4 You'll howl, you dog ! ' and hit at Anhalt until he 
lost consciousness. Then he threw him on the straw by 
the other prisoners." 



Otto Gerke, arrived at the Trade Union House, Gassel, 
at 3.30. Three auxiliary police said : No. i : fi That's one 
of them.' No. 2 : £ We'll come for him.’ No 3 : £ That’s 
Gerke of the Metalworkers’ Union.’ At 4.30 four storm 
troop men entered the office. £ Herr Gerke ? 5 £ Yes.’ 
£ Put on your coat. You must come with us to be in- 
terrogated.' In reply to my question whether the police 
president knew of this, I was told £ Yes.’ Eight storm 
troop men took me to the public hall. I was first taken 
tcfthe guard-room, then up into the hall and searched for 
arms. At about 5.30 I was summoned, and taken by two 
storm troop men down the steps into the cellar, where 
there were a number of bicycles in the passage. They 
told me to leave my hat and coat there. I was then taken 
down twelve steps into a lower cellar. In this cellar, 
I was thrown on to a table. My head and arms were 
held down, and I was beaten with rubber truncheons 
for 15 to 20 minutes. I was then pulled up and told 
to say £ Heil Hitler/ which I could not do. A doctor 
was summoned immediately, and he certified that I was 
suffering from loss of blood and nervous collapse." 

£< Cassel , March 28 , 1933. 

I certify that I have treated Herr Otto Gerke, Yussow- 
strasse, Gassel, for wounds on both arms, buttocks, legs 
and calves. The wounds extend to the region of the 
kidneys. I have had Herr Gerke under treatment since 
March 24th. He is unable to carry out his duties and 
must be confined to bed." 


{Signed.) 


224 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

Prooasanda Film instead of Dinner. 

i ropagauud. Anril 3rd, I was arrested by 

“ At 6.30 a.m. on Monday, A P* 3 > interrogation 

two protective corps men. Although y 
showed that there was no ground for nr «s 
taken with two other prisoners m an for 

underground at about 11.30 p.m. we 
either air or lig • , Tint in a schoolroom, 

were brought out “^““o Sreleased. 

On Friday we thought that we wereg = spectacle 
but they had evident Y only by 

of us. As we were put m » Tq our sur pri S e we 

a crowd of Fascists whoj ' were ^ OW n a film 

were taken to a cmexna w incitement against 

tu,Sro" : Skfns * our min* - 
that we had had no dinner tiat out foy two 

“ At midnight on F^day ^ q stat ion. I was 
storm troop men an t ions to their satisfaction. 

An hour later two protective corps men came ^ 

to a w °° d an t puiied ? 

then they asked me, started to beat me 

pressed mto the sa ?* the arms?’ I thought 

agam demanded • " nothing mattered any 

° Tgi , dTi nobcS <ha, drey were getting tfmi 
?he «n“h?« « holding down my head let go. and 
S»Tm. a terrible blow on my head anddos. con- 
sciousness. When I came to X crept home. 

Tagore’s Experience. In the last week of April the 


225 


BRUTALITY AND TORTURE 

nephew of the Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore was ar- 
rested on suspicion of having plotted to assassinate Hitler. 
He was afterwards released, and gave the following account 
of his experiences : 

“ The room in which I was put was underground, dar k 
and without any air. Twenty-two prisoners were already 
imprisoned there, all of them members of Left Parties, 
mostly Communists. Many pf them had already been 
there more than a month and had not yet even been in- 
terrogated. From time to time one of them would be 
summoned and taken out of the cell. We would hear 
terrible cries, and then our companion would be'pushed 
back into the room. He would show us the traces of what 
had been done to him. A Communist member of the 
Reichstag showed me the marks of ill-usage on his body, 
saying simply : ‘ Look, this is called national German 
. culture.’ On the d%y when I was arrested a young man 
of the name of Rahm was called out, and returned 
with cut and bleeding thighs. The storm troop men had 
beaten him with steel rods because he had refused to 
give false evidence against his comrades. Early on Tues- 
day morning a man was thrown into our cell who 
could hardly stand ; his arm was swollen and in a sling, 
and his face was covered with blood. He was a trade 
union official of the name of Fuhler. Storm troop men 
had forced their way into the Trade Union House, and 
as Fuhler could not produce the arms which they de- 
manded he should give up, they attacked him , broke 
his arm, pushed a stick into his side, ripped his cheek 
open nearly to his eye, knocked him down and kicked 
him. 

“ It was impossible to sleep at night ; all the time the 
place was filled with the cries of the prisoners and the 
singing and laughter of our tormentors. In the next cell 
one prisoner was crying out for his mother without 
^ cessation. Often the storm troop men would come into 
the cells to carry out their brutalities.” 



226 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

Documents which not even Goebbels can Dispute. 
Kurt Haas, a film critic who took absolutely no part in 
politics, was arrested by civilians in his flat on the night of 
February 28th. He refused to go with the men, who produced 
no official document apart from storm troop credentials. 
They then threatened that they would shoot him, and they 
beat him on his bed, tied him up and carried him, severely 
injured, to a car. Some police stopped the car on the way, 
and rescued Haas. His wopnds were bandaged in hospital 
and then he was released. 

Up to this point there is nothing exceptional in this story. 
But Haas nlade a complaint to the Ministry of the Interior, 
and what followed gives the case importance. Although the 
storm troop men were quite unable to produce any proof 
that they were acting on behalf of the authorities, they were 
subsequently fully protected by the Ministry. Here is the 
reply sent by Goering’s Ministry : 

“ Prussian Ministry of the Interior. 

“ Storm Troop Connections Department No. 29/33. 

“Berlin, 13th March, 1933. 

66 To Herr Curt Haas , Berlin- Wilmersdorf. 

“ Your letter dated 4/3/1933, addressed to the Minister of 
the Interior, has been passed to me as the appropriate 
officer to investigate and decide the matter. 

“ I have ascertained that the particulars given in your 
letter are inaccurate and distorted in essential points. 
The storm troop was completely in the right and acted 
with authority to take you into protective arrest. In 
accordance with the information I have received, after 
the storm troop men had produced their credentials, as 
you yourself admit, they acted as the circumstances re- 
quired. After putting on your clothes at their request, 
you yourself are responsible for having made it neces- 
sary to break your resistance by force, inasmuch as you 
suddenly began to shout and bluster, and attached the 
storm troop members, biting one man’s thumb, so 
severely that the wound is not yet healed. From the facts? 


BRUTALITY AND TORTURE 22? 

in my possession the degree of force used was not greater 
than was required to break your resistance. 

“ I see no grounds for taking any action against the storm 
troop leader and men concerned, but must rather re- 
serve to the injured storm troop man the right to 
take proceedings against you. 

c< Head of the Storm Troop Connections Depart- 
ment in the Prussian Ministry of the Interior. 

“ {signed) Dr. Heyl.” 

This document should be of historical value. It can as 
little be disputed as the official announcement from 
Bielefeld : 

<c Bielefeld, 3rd April, 1933. The Social Democratic 
Member of the Reichstag and Town Councillor, 
Schreck, was arrested yesterday ; at present he is in 
hospital. 59 




# 


Chapter VIII: THE PERSECUTION 
OF JEWS 

One of the first acts of the new Nationalist Government of 
Thuringia was the dissolution of the Central Union 
of German Citizen^ of Jewish faith within the ter- 
ritory of the Thuringian State. The following state- 
ment was issued by the Government in explanation : 
“ Qrfc of the chief objects of the Central Union is to 
fight anti-Semitism. As there is no anti-Semitism in 
Germany, the Central Union no longer has any 
justification for its existence. It is therefore dissolved 
as from to-day.” 

w E are here dealing with questions of fact. Authen- 
tic reports and depositions relating to tortures, acts of 
brutality, and outlawry directed against Jews living in 
Germany will show clearly enough where the boundary 
lies between “ atrocity stories 55 and the appalling reality. 
It will become evident that although in some particular 
cases the so-called “ atrocity stories 5> may have been in- 
exact and exaggerated, yet they have also to some extent 
understated the actual facts of brutality. For example, there 
has been a report that a certain Herr Cohn had his hairs 
pulled out one by one. But it turned out that this Herr 
Cohn had been out of Germany for some time, and had 
not suffered at all ; but on the other hand, that a certain 
Herr Levy not only had his hair pulled out, but had one of 
his eyes put out and has been in a hospital for some weeks 
in danger of death. Mistakes in names and in places where 
incidents took place have come to light ; but for every c'ase 
reported which on investigation proved to be indirect or 
exaggerated, there are a hundred cases of torture, murder 
and robbery which have not come to light at all, for the 
reason that the people concerned have been threatened 


THE PERSECUTION OF JEWS 229 

with death if they tell the truth about the crimes which 
are being committed every day in Hitler’s Germany. 

The reports of actual incidents can stand by themselves 
without any reference to the problems of “ the Jewish ques- 
tion. 55 Many attempts, written from various standpoints, 
have been made to present an analysis of the situation in 
Germany in regard to the Jews. Here we deal with this 
wider question very briefly ; but it is essential to say some- 
thing of the inseparable connection which exists between 
the Hitler movement and anti-Semitism. 

Anti-Semitism as one of the Foundations of National 
Socialism. It is an old practice of the ruling* class 
to distract the attention of the people from their actual 
sufferings. It is not possible here to deal in a scientific way 
with the reasons why attacks on the Jews have for many 
centuries served as the basis for distracting the people in 
this way ; why throughput the Middle Ages the Jews were 
attacked as a religious community, and more recently for 
the most part as a “ race. 55 The analysis made by Marx in 
The Jewish ' Question has been followed by many subsequent 
writers who have treated the question from a social stand- 
point. At the present time it is impossible to approach “ the 
Jewish question 55 as a confused complex of race, nationality, 
people and religion ; it must be regarded as a social question 
containing racial, national and religious elements. 

Anti-Semitism in Modem Germany. Hitlerism is a 
characteristic form of the process of dissolution of the lower 
middle class in the age of industrial capitalism ; and it has 
its parallel in the past. Anti-Semitism in modern Germany 
dates from the movement which developed under Adolf 
Stocker, a court chaplain, in the last quarter of last century. 
The basis of that movement was economic. There was a 
period ojp&mrestricted speculation in the years when German 
industry was being built up after the victorious war of 
70-71, and this was followed by a severe economic crisis 
which directly affected the lower middle class as well as the 


230 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

working class. Adolf Stocker found the new gospel of salva- 
tion in a campaign against the Jews. Ernst Ottwalt, in his 
brilliant study Germany, Awake ! writes of Stocker as follows : 

“ Without any regard to fundamental economic facts, 
Stocker ascribed to Jewish influence everything within 
the German Empire which seemed to him unhealthy and 
harmful : in the indebtedness of the peasant population 
of the provinces of East Prussia, which was an inevit- 
able consequence of the increasing world production of 
grain, Stocker could see only the Jew who gave credit to 
the peasant in order to drive him from hearth and home 
a *short time afterwards, out of diabolical wickedness. 
He saw in the wretched position of the German in- 
dustrial workers not the greed of a type of capitalist 
which had been brought into being by the advance 
made in the means of production, but the existence of 
Jewish capitalists — and the Je^vs were responsive for 
everything.” 

Bismarck the “ Servant of the Jews. 5 ’ The anti- 
Semite propaganda achieved a certain success : the first 
revolutionary upheaval of the duped lower middle class 
was concentrated on the weakest point, that is to say, the 
Jewish minority. But when Adolf Stocker began to attack 
rich and powerful Jews also, the solidarity of the possessing 
class was roused ; Bismarck himself intervened, and the 
court chaplain who had become an agitator fell out of 
favour. It is amusing to find that the anti-Semitic move- 
ment of that period also attacked Bismarck, denouncing 
him as c< the servant of the Jews.” A pamphlet published 
in 1878 contains the following : 

“ The credit for having raised the Jews and their asso- 
ciates into a ruling clique in Germany must hg given to 
Prince Bismarck. . . . The protection of the Jews is one 
of the blackest pages in Bismarck’s glorious Empire, 
with its consequences in the impoverishment of tfee 


J THE PERSECUTION OF JEWS 23 1 

working class, the demoralisation of all sections of 
society and the disgusting fusion of money with the 
aristocracy by birth. . . . Prince Bismarck succumbed 
to the influence of the Jews. The society in which he 
moved was composed of Jews and the associates of 
■ Jews ; they were always with him, and were his political 

advisers and the champions of civilisation on whom he 
mainly relied . 59 

This 46 popular movement 55 of the time inevitably found 
expression in excesses. The signal was given by the burning 
down of the synagogue in the little Pomeranian town of 
Neustettin. (Then too the 44 national 55 indignation was 
roused by an act of incendiarism ; and then too it was not 
the incendiaries who were brought to trial, but Jews, who 
were alleged to have burnt down their own temple out of 
vindictiveness.) Pogroms followed. And when the ec popular 
movement 55 had ali^ady begun to flag— when the eco- 
nomic crisis was over— this anti-Semitism took legal shape 
in the form of Parties, and also found people who could 
supply the necessary ideology : Professor Eugen Duhring 
with his work on The Jewish Question as a Qiiestion of Racial 
Character opened a new era of anti-Semitism, racial anti- 
Semitism. Since then a great deal of ink has flowed in order 
to prove that the Jews are a race, and an outlandish, 
inferior and criminal race at that. Apart from Chamber- 
lain’s ingenious assertions, this <e science 55 has for the most 
part been content with coarse jests. Now, in Hitler’s 
I Germany, the science celebrates its triumph, and no 

| doubt there are a good many people who will be able to 

earn their bread in this shameful way in the Third Empire. 

| Anti-Semitic Parties. Germany was the country in 

I which anti-Semitism was first organised on a party basis. 

J These parties were the 44 German Social Party,” the 44 Anti- 

) Semite People’s Party,” and later the 44 German Reform 


\ # Party” : they had no other object than anti-Semitism, 

which was the sole aim and purpose of their existence. It 



232 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

was characteristic that their fortunes varied with the 
economic situation ; but in any case anti-Semitism remained 
“ parliamentary 55 for nearly three decades. During this 
period it was a sociological rather than a social 
phenomenon. With the economic catastrophe of the post- 
war period, however, anti-Semite parliamentarism once 
more developed into a “ popular movement. 35 The tradi- 
tional anti-Semitic Parties disappeared, but there were no 
fewer than 260 anti-Semitic organisations in post-war Ger- 
many. These were all united by the National Socialists. 

The National Socialist Workers 5 Party of Germany is 
indissolubly linked with anti-Semitism ; in fact, it is quite 
unthinkable without it. Anti-Semitism was one of the founda- 
tions and the constant companion of National Socialism 
from triumph to triumph up to the seizure of power. 

Forms of anti-Semitic agitation. Recent German 
anti-Semitism, of which Hitler’s victory is the fulfilnfent, 
has never worried itself overmuch to find “ scientific 55 
justification. It is one of the special characteristics of this 
movement that from the very beginning it has never proved 
anything, but always merely asserted. Its success depends 
on confusing and distracting people from the actual 
state of things. This anti-Semitism has always found ex- 
pression in the most repulsive forms of incitement. During 
the Kapp Putsch early in 1920 the curious anti-Semitic 
symbol, the Hakenkreuz (swastika), was first publicly ex- 
hibited, on the steel helmets of the Ehrhardt brigade. On 
that occasion, too, the Nazi songs were first publicly sung. 
Then also, a real ce national 55 man made speeches entirely 
composed of expressions such as <c Rathenau, the Jewish 
sow.” On the streets the children were learning anti- 
Semitic songs. Now, in the Third Empire, they all know 
the glorious battle-song whose refrain runs : “ When Jewish 
blood spurts from under the knife, things will be ^wice as 
good as before.” 

For fifteen years, in tens of thousands of meetings and 
tens of thousands of articles in the press, the Jew has been 



presented by Hitler’s Party to the duped masses as the most 
utter abomination. The Jew is responsible for everything. 
For the war as well as the peace, for capitalism as well as 
the revolution, for poverty as well as wealth — the National 
Socialist agitation sees the Jew lurking everywhere and 
helping on the work of Judaism to reach its aim of world 
domination : and to Hitler and his followers this is equiva- 
lent to the destruction of the world. Here we can only 
give some examples of the absurdity and vileness of this 
anti-Semitism* 

* 

Hitler on the Jews. We take these examples from the 
most official statement of National Socialism, Hitler’s book 
My Fight , which is now circulating in many hundreds of 
thousands of copies. There we find : 

44 The black-haired Jewish youth lies in wait for hours, 
Satanic joy in his fac^ for the unsuspecting girl, whom he 
defiles with his blood and thereby robs from her own 
race ” , . . “ They were and are Jews who brought 
negroes to the Rhine, always with the same aim and 
idea in their minds of destroying, through the bastardisa- 
tion that must inevitably result, the white race which 
they hate — of bringing it down from its high cultural 
and political level and themselves getting the mastery 
over it. . . . In culture the Jew defiles art, literature and 
the theatre, destroys natural sentiments, undermines all 
ideas of beauty and dignity, of nobility and goodness, 
and drags humanity down under the spell of his own 
base mode of life ”... <e If the Jews were alone on this 
world, they would smother themselves in dirt and filth 
just the same in their attempts to get advantages over 
each other and destroy each other, in so far as their 
complete lack of any sense of self-sacrifice, which finds 
expression in their cowardice, did not turn the fight 
into a farce ” . , . cc When the Jew wins political power 
he casts aside the few wrappings which he still has. 

* The democratic Jew of the people becomes the Jew of 


m 


234 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

blood and tyranny. He tries in a few years to root out 
the national carriers of intelligence, and by robbing the 
peoples of their natural intellectual leadership, prepares 
them for their lot as slaves in permanent subjection, 53 

It must be borne in mind that these phrases occur in 
a book which is certainly representative and was written 
with the consciousness that it was representative. The 
extracts given in fact illustrate only the mildest and most 
restrained form of anti-Semitic agitation. A different and 
much clearer language is used in meetings and in articles in 
the Press'! For years the typical headlines in the National 
Socialist papers have been : “ At the udders of the Jewish 
sow, 55 “ The Jewish Plague in the World, 55 and so forth. 
And finally it must not be forgotten that the main battle- 
cry of the Hitler movement is : “ Perish Judah ! 55 

In the “ Guide and Instructional Letter for Function- 
aries 55 of the National Socialists^ dated March 15/2 1931, 
we find : 

£C The natural hostility of the peasant against the Jews, 
and his hostility against the Freemason as a servant of 
the Jew, must be worked up to a frenzy. 55 

“ Day of Reckoning.” It is necessary to recall all this 
in order to realise the ridiculous character of the dSmentis 
issued by the National Socialist members of the Govern- 
ment in connection with the reports of the persecution of 
Jews and the grotesque nature of the statement that the 
Jews would suffer no harm under Adolf Hitler’s protecting 
rule. For fifteen years the Jews have been spoken of as 
a world plague, as the most brutish of sub-men, and the 
adherents of the National Socialist movement have been 
given license to calumniate and persecute the Jews. 
Hatred of the Jews has been systematically nurtured. For 
fifteen years a cc day of reckoning 55 has been promised. Is it 
strange that this sowing of murder should bear fruit when 
the so-called National Revolution developed ? Every 


r 


1 THE PERSECUTION OF JEWS 235 

\\ young National Socialist has been ceaselessly told that it is 

| a moral act, and his highest duty as a national German, to 

extirpate the Jews. How is it possible to make these young 
National Socialists understand that now, when they are in 
power, they are to protect the Jews ? So they are given 
a free hand — and very willingly, too, for of all the things 
which they have been promised the only thing they can be 
given is : the satisfaction of their lust for murder. The 
Government cannot give all National Socialist supporters 
bread and work, nor can it improve the economic situation 
or redeem any of the promises it made ; but so long as it 
, allows the lower middle class to persecute and heat up the 

Jews it can distract them from the tremendous imposture 
1 of which they too have been the victims. For this reason the 

campaign against the Jews is given its head in Hitler’s 
Germany. It would be a terrible mistake to think that the 
I persecution of the Jews was only a transitory phenomenon 

of the period when Hitler took power. It is a political 
measure systematically carried out, and necessary for the 
tremendous deception of the people. Minister Goebbels, in 
a pamphlet called The JSfazi-Sozi , says that “ The liberation 
of the German nation can only be carried out against the 
Jews. It is true that the Jew is also a man . . . but the flea 
is also an animal — but not a pleasant one . . . our duty to 
ourselves and to our conscience requires us ... to make 
| him harmless.” 

I Jews are Watching You! To show that the anti- 

' Semitic propaganda has not in any way stopped, but 

that it is being carried on in an organised way, making use 
I of every available means, we quote only one of the publi- 

cations which have appeared since Hitler took power. It 
j is a book by Dr. Johann von Leers, with the title Jews 

I are Watching Tou ! It is a somewhat random collection of 

photographs which are presented to “ the German people ” 
by way of a warning. Among some 60 photographs of 
I Germans and people of other nationalities there are 

^pictures of Karl Liebknecht, who was a descendant of 


m 


236 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

Martin Luther, of the Catholic leader Erzberger, of Willy 
Miinzenberg, in whom there is not a drop of “Jewish 
blood, 55 of Gresinski, of the Catholic Mayor of Cologne, 
Adenauer, of Erwin Piskator, son of a clergyman — who are 
all, on the National Socialist racial theory, “ Germans of 
pure race. 55 But this is characteristic. In Hitler’s Germany 
no one takes the trouble to check up even the most simple 
facts which are supposed to be the basis of statements made. 
It is quite enough to majke assertions and calumniations. 
Anyone who is inconvenient to the Hitler regime is a “Jew” 
so far as this regime is concerned. That is all there is to it. 
The conception of “ responsibility 55 is completely alien to 
these National Socialist “ writers. 55 If anyone asks for any 
proof, the National Socialist storm troops are good enough 
to silence any inconvenient questioner. This is the reason 
why no one dares to challenge even the most nonsensical 
statements ; and as no one contradicts them, the masses 
believe everything. * c 

This book, which we hope will get a very wide circula- 
tion, as it is really a revelation of the “ spirit ” of the new 
regime, contains also photographs of Rosa Luxemburg, 
Professor Einstein, Georg Bernhard, Lion Feuchtwanger, 
Theodor Wolff, Emil Ludwig, Max Reinhardt, Charlie 
Chaplin, Alfred Kerr and the American banker Otto H. 
Kahn. No one who is not a National Socialist will find any- 
thing repulsive in these photographs. For the most part 
they are splendid heads of clever and serious people of 
real intellectual standing. The only repulsive things about 
the photographs are the titles which Dr. Von Leers has 
provided. Under Rosa Luxemburg is printed : “ Exe- 
cuted.” Levine : “ Executed.” Erzberger : “ Executed at 
last. The young Germans who shot him were released from 
persecution after the national revolution of 1933.” For 
Einstein there is the laconic remark ; “ Unhanged,” This 
is a favourite observation of the compiler of thp book ; 
he uses it for everyone who has not yet been murdered. 
For Reinhardt : “ His second-rate and soulless art, etc.” 
Chaplin is described as “ a little sprawling Jew, as boring 


# 




THE PERSECUTION OF JEWS 237 

as he is repulsive. 35 It is said of Toller : “ Promptly locked 
up after Adolf Hitler’s seizure of power 55 — but not even 
this is true, as by that time Ernst Toller was already out 
of Germany. Erwin Piskator is called a “ Bolshevistic 
artistic Jew. 55 The bankers Max Warburg and Dr. Karl 
Melchior are said to be <c Extremely dangerous ! 55 
Among these €£ Jews 55 there is a young man of the name 
of Schlesinger, who once in desperation carried out an 
attack on a train which cost many lives. Later on he was 
released on an amnesty. In the course of the trial it came 
out that Schlesinger was not a Jew but a German ce of 
pure race. 55 Anti-Semitic propaganda made use of the name 
at the time, but subsequently had to drop its attacks when 
it was proved beyond question that this Schlesinger was 
“ of pure race. 53 But Dr. von Leers writes under his photo- 
graph : “ Moved by greed and unconcealed race hatred, 
he caused the terrible railway accident at Leiferde.” But 
whit does it matter ? One lie more or less makes no differ- 
ence to these people. 

“ Perish Judah ! ” Herr Hanfstaengl, “ Foreign Press 
Chief 55 of the National Socialists, gave a semi-official inter- 
view on March 27th, 1933, to the American representative 
of the semi-official Telegraph Union Press Service. In 
reply to the question : cc Are the reports of alleged maltreat- 
ment of Jews true or false ? 53 he said : “ A few minutes ago, 
when I met the Chancellor at the Munich airport on his 
arrival from Berlin, he authorised me to tell you that these 
reports are one and all base lies. 53 HanfstaengPs answer to 
detailed questions about the persecution of Jews was : 
“ The Berlin Embassies of Sweden and Holland have in- 
vestigated and have found that not a single Jew has been 
killed. 35 

43 Murdered. The list of Jews shot or beaten to death 
by the storm troops has been checked by us, and it shows 
# a total of 43. These 43 are cases in which the victims were 
murdered primarily because they were Jews, not because 


238 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

they were “ Marxists. 55 These 43 authentic cases, which 
have been examined in every detail, represent only a small 
part, a fraction, of the real number, which will undoubtedly 
come to light in the course of time, when it becomes pos- 
sible to get more exact information on the actual incidents 
which have taken place in Hitler’s Germany. These 43 
names are selected from many hundreds of names ; all 
cases which up to now it has been impossible to check 
satisfactorily are left out of account. We do not want to 
“ estimate 55 or “ think,” but to prove actual facts : a few 
detailed examples are taken from the mass of material 
before us. ' 


On the 1 8th of March 1933, a tragic doom 
claimed our dearly beloved and promising son, 
SIEGBERT KINDERMANN, 
baker’s apprentice, who had just completed his 
1 8th year. 

Moritz Kindermann, Sign Painter, and his wife. 
Franseckystrasse 5. 

Funeral : Sunday, March 26th. 1933, 2 p.m., 
Weissensee. 

No visits of condolence, by request. 


The Jewish apprentice Kindermann, whose “ tragic 
doom ” this inconspicuous notice announces, was attacked 
in 1932 by National Socialists, because he was a member of 
the completely non-political Jewish Sports Society “ Bar- 
Kochba.” In connection with this attack a National 
Socialist was charged and convicted. In order to “ re- 
venge 99 this conviction, after Hitler’s seizure of power 
young Kindermann was dragged to the Nazi barracks in 
the Hedemannstrasse in Berlin and there literally ^beaten 
to death, his body being then thrown out into the street. 
A large hakenkreuz was cut in his chest. 


I THE PERSECUTION OF JEWS 239 ! 

An Example from Cassel. Dr. O. M., of Cassel, reports 
as follows : “ On Friday, March 17th, 1933, bands of Nazis 
j went all over the town of Cassel, dragging off members 

I of the Jewish community whom for any reason they did 

I not like, in order to bring them to c trial.’ It should be 

| noted that the victims were not persons who had been 

I prominent in politics of any kind ; the reason for their ill- 

treatment was as a rule some petty spite on the part of the 
Nazi leaders. The following were particularly bad cases : j 

“ Dr. Max Plant, a lawyer, was dragged out of his office 
by a large gang of Nazis and taken away in a closed car 
which drove along the main street. As they drovfc along he 
was forced to shout c Heil Hitler 5 by blows with rubber 
batons, and each time he shouted the Nazis roared with 
glee. Plant was taken to the Nazi headquarters, where a 
so-called court-martial was held and sentenced him, for 
alleged professional shortcomings, to 200 blows with 
rubber batons. He wa# then taken down to a cellar and 
strapped to a bench for the sentence to be carried out. He 
was then most terribly mishandled for almost two hours. 

After some time Plaut fainted ; water was then thrown 
over him until he revived, when he was given some alcohol 
j by so-called £ sisters.’ When he had come to hi ms elf the j 

mishandling was resumed. By the time the brutal punish- 
ment had been concluded he had completely lost conscious- 
ness, and was left, covered with blood, lying in a corner. 

| Haut was then taken to his flat, where he died ten days j 

1 later. The doctors who were called to attend him, Dr. j 

! Scholl, a nerve specialist, and Prof Tonnisen, head doctor ; 

1 of the State Hospital, found the most terrible injuries, in- ' 

| eluding serious damage to the internal organs, especially 

kidneys and lungs. His back and legs gradually turned 
j completely black. Plaut had to be kept on his bed in a 
permanent state of narcosis, as when he came to conscious- 
ness he ^screamed so terribly that , he was heard in the 
street. After ten days of this he died. j 

“ On the same occasion another lawyer, Herr Dalberg, 
fvas most brutally treated in the same way as Plaut, and at \ 



24O BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

the same place. It should be noted that some time previ- 
ously he had had a conflict in court with a lawyer who 
is now in an official position; this dispute was brought 
up against him while he was being mishandled. There 
can be no doubt therefore that the tortures inflicted on 
Dalberg were due to direct instructions from this high 
Prussian official, who had previously been in command 
of the Gassel National Socialists. Dalberg was so badly 
injured that for some days the doctors were afraid that, 
one leg would have to be amputated, but fortunately 
it was found possible to save it. Dalberg is still severely 
affected by the results of his ill-treatment. 

Another particularly bad case was that of a young: 
Jewish merchant, Mossbach, against whom, so far as I 
know, the only accusation was that he had had relations 
with a Christian girl, though these had been discontinued. 
Nazis broke into his flat and in the presence of his mother 
beat him so brutally that his head rind spine were tefribly 
injured. A doctor was called, Dr. Stephan, who is politi- 
cally on the extreme Right, and he stated that even during 
the war he had never seen such an appalling sight. For a 
long time Mossbach hovered between life and death, but 
his life was eventually saved. 

On the same day, also at the Nazi headquarters, two 
merchants, Freudenstein and Ball, were beaten and 
severely injured, both of them being dangerously ill for 
some time after. In both cases the ill-treatment was an 
act of personal revenge on the part of certain Nazis, but I 
have no details. 

There was also a case of a banker named Plant being 
severely handled, but his injuries were not so severe ; he 
was sixty years of age. 

The crimes of the Nazis in Hesse were certainly not 
restricted to Cassel. It would not be an exaggeration to 
say that in every village in the province of Gassel where 
any Jews live, there have been similar cases, some of them 
appalling. I know that in some villages all the male mem- 
bers of the Jewish community have left their homes and 


THE PERSECUTION OP JEWS 24.I 

only returned, if they have returned at all, after a long 
interval.” 

Forced to sign a Statement. Leo Krell, 25 years of 
age, living in the Skalitzerstrasse, Berlin, was attacked by a 
Nazi Storm Detachment and carried off to a Nazi barracks- 
where he was murdered. His body was then dropped in 
front of the Jewish cemetery. We mention this case because 
of what followed. His aged mother received a letter asking 
her to go and identify her son in the mortuary. It was 
difficult for her to identify the body, which was mutilated 
in every way. The hakenkreuz had been carved in his face 
and all over his body and burnt into the flesh ; all that was 
left of her son was a mass of bleeding pulp. Faced with this 
mutilated body, the mother was compelled to sign a 
statement that her son had died “ after a long illness in 
hospital.” 

&uch statements ar> always demanded from relatives in 
the case of people who have been beaten to death. If any 
of the relatives ever hint, even in private, at what actually 
happened, they can look forward to being brought before 
a court and sentenced to many months, if not years, of 
imprisonment, for taking part in an “ atrocity campaign.” 
As a rule the Storm Detachment people concerned tell the 
relatives that they will suffer the same fate if they do not 
“ keep their mouths shut.” 

A deep silence lies over Germany. The people who are" 
suffering dare not even call for help : that would be treason.- 

Forty-three mutilated corpses of Jews who had been! 
beaten to death with rubber batons, steel rods and leather 
whips, have been recorded up to now— people whose only 
crime was that they were Jews. We do not know the total 
number of such corpses that have been secretly buried. 
Perhaps five hundred ; perhaps a thousand ; perhaps even 
more. The future will bring it to light. It is only after some 
years that it will be realised that all the reports of the 
^brutalities carried out by Hitler’s bandits which have so 
"Tar been published fall far short of the appalling reality. 


242 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

300 Proved Cases of Barbarous Cruelty. Forty-three 
mutilated corpses, identified and authenticated up to the 
present — and how many cases of people beaten almost to 
death or injured for life ? Up to now we have records of 301 
cases of severe bodily injuries inflicted on Jews — cases in 
which we have been in a position to verify the place and 
date of the crime and the identity of the person injured. 
The actual number of Jews who have suffered ill-usage 
must already be considerably over ten thousand. Of the 
three hundred cases which we have been able to verify we 
give the following examples. 

In the middle of April a number of papers reported that 
Rabbi Jonas Frankel, who is over 80, had been attacked and 
severely ill-treated by Storm Detachment men at his home 
in Berlin, Dragonerstrasse 37. 

The Government issued a denial of this report. 

The Rabbi’s daughter, Ella Frankel, reports the following 
details : e> 

How my Father was to be Murdered 

By Ella Frankel 

“ At about 7.30 on the evening of March 7th three Storm 
Troop auxiliary policemen forced their way into our flat 
at Dragonerstrasse 37. Two of them held me prisoner, with 
their revolvers pointed at my forehead and my breast. 
The third shot at my father, who was sitting at his desk. 
Two bullets struck his head, and my father., streaming with 
blood, sank unconscious to the floor. One of the Nazis 
shouted : c That’s fixed him ! 5 Then they broke open the 
desk and stole all the money in it — my dowry of 5,000 
dollars and 2,000 marks. Before leaving they warned me 
against calling for help, and smashed the electricity con- 
nection so that the flat was left in darkness. We later ascer- 
tained that these £ auxiliary police ’ were members of the 
Dragonerstrasse Storm Troops. 

“ I lifted my father from where he was by the desk to the 
window, and for half an hour was calling for help. The 
street was cordoned off by Nazis and several squads of 


THE PERSECUTION OF JEWS 243 

police. Anyone who attempted to leave his house was driven 
back with blows from rubber batons. Eventually some 
police officers came up, followed by officials of the Humane 
Society, with whom our neighbours had got into touch. 
They wanted to take my father to hospital, but I would not 
agree. Two days later we were visited by an official from the 
Polish Consulate ; he found the flat still splashed with blood. 

cs For two weeks my father lay helpless ; we were afraid 
every hour that he was going to. die. On April 8th some 
Nazis again came to the flat and demanded to see my 
father. They stated that if my father was willing to certify in 
writing that he had not been attacked by Nazis, but by 
Jews, he would not be interfered with again. I told them that 
my father was too ill to write, and that they must come back 
again in two days’ time. They drew their revolvers and 
forced both of us to give our words of honour that we would 
give them the certificate two days later. As my father 
was determined in no c*se to give such a declaration, the 
only course left to us was to get away as quickly as possible. 
Two friends wrapped him up in a rug, and took him away 
in broad daylight to friends living in a distant part of the 
town. I was almost out of my mind with anxiety. We had 
previously taken away the two Scrolls of the Law 1 , but we left 
everything else in the flat. I left the house in indoor clothes 
and without a hat, as our porter was a Nazi, and he would 
immediately have denounced us. We took the train to 
Vienna. My father, whose head was covered with bandages, 
was represented as being very old and deaf. I said that I was 
travelling to Vienna and had promised to look after the old 
man on the way. Soon after the train left Berlin a spy came 
and sat with us and put questions to me, but he left the 
compartment when we reached Dresden as my answers had 
not made him suspicious. After Dresden the examination of 
passengers began. German officials went from compartment 
to compartment asking ‘ Are you Jews ? 5 I took up my 
position at the door of the compartment, in which there 

t 1 A Scroll of the Law consists of two “ tables of stone,” round which 
is wound a parchment on which the Pentateuch is inscribed. 


244 brown book of the hitler terror 

were only the two Scrolls of the Law besides my father. The 
officials had however already been given a report by the 
spy, and they greeted me politely and said : 4 Ah, you are 
the young lady travelling to Vienna and looking after the 
deaf old gentleman. We have this information already . 5 
So we succeeded in getting here, and stopped at Reichen- 
berg, as my father was quite unable to travel any further 
then. Later we came on to Prague. My father is still lying 
here ill,” » 

We have given this case in detail as it is a very typical 
one, and we refer the reader to the accompanying photo- 
graphs. A Rabbi eighty years of age attacked and left for 
dead, and his flat robbed — but the dementi machine has the 
effrontery to announce to the press of the world that there 
was no such person as this Rabbi. This case is typical of a 
thousand dementis of a regime which lies with an unscrupu- 
lous brutality equal to that with which it murders. r/ 

Attacked in the Synagogue. We want to state another 
case, the scene of which was a synagogue. Rabbi Bereisch 
was in the synagogue in Duisburg at divine service when he 
was attacked and brutally handled. He was dragged out 
through the street and after being wrapped in the black-red- 
gold flag was made to run the gauntlet through a crowd of 
shouting men. Finally he was arrested and the charge made 
against him was cc being responsible for public disorder in 
the street . 5 5 

The Rabbi of Gelsenkirchen was driven out of the syna- 
gogue during the Sabbath service and with a number of 
other Jews was taken through the streets to the Nazi 
barracks. There they were all forced to turn their faces to 
the wall and make genuflections. When the Rabbi protested 
against this he was laid across a ladder and beaten with a 
stick. Later, he was set free, and succeeded in escaping across 
the Dutch frontier. He arrived at Amsterdam so severely 
injured that he was unable to stand. Before the Nazis set 
him free, they forced him to sign a declaration that “ his 
imprisonment had been due to a misunderstanding . 55 




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I2b. PLATE NO. 12, 


246 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

Pogroms. The Frankfurter £eitung of April 24th, 1933, 
contains the following announcement : 

“ Wiesbaden, April 23rd. Two assaults with fatal results 
occurred here on Saturday evening. The two victims 
were a merchant, Salomon Rosenstrauch, and a dairy- 
man, Max Kassel. The police report on the murder 
of Max Kassel runs as follows : ' On Saturday at 
23.30 cries for help were heard coming from a flat 
in No. 43 Webergasse. At the same time a number 
of shots rang out. A motor lorry driver who was passing 
along ''the street went and informed the police. The 
police ascertained that the cries for help had come 
from the flat of Max Kassel, a dairyman, fifty-nine 
years of age. On entering the officers found Kassel lying 
dead on the floor of one of the rooms. On examination 
the body showed bullet wounds which had proved fatal. 
Further investigations showed that several persqns by 
breaking in a door panel had forced their way into the 
flat and shot down the man as he was running towards 
the window. The shots had been fired from an army 
revolver. The investigations did not produce any 
evidence showing that the motive of the crime was 
robbery, and the indications are that it was an act of 
revenge. 5 95 

The official report of the second case states that on that 
Saturday at 21.45 the police were called to the flat of 
a merchant, R., 58 years old, living in Wilhelmstrasse 20. 
R. was lying on the ground only just breathing. The body 
showed no injuries. A doctor ordered the man to be taken to 
hospital, but he died on the way from heart failure. The 
housekeeper who was still in the flat stated that at 21.10 
two young men had rung at the door of the flat and asked 
for R. When he came to the door the two men pushed their 
way into the flat and one of them pointed a revolver at R. 
R. fled into another room and fell to the ground. The two 
attackers then left the flat without giving any further 


THE PERSECUTION OF JEWS 247 

explanation. According to the woman’s description they 
were two lads of between twenty and twenty- three years of 
age. 

We mention these cases because they seem to us typical 
of the actual pogrom which is being carried out. 

Living Targets. These are a few of the cases which the 
authorities have themselves made public : but this does not 
mean that thousands of similar acts of brutality have not 
taken place, although nothing is said of them. One day in 
the middle of a Berlin street the son of an attendant at a 
Synagogue was attacked by a Nazi troop in the presence of 
his father. The lad was held by the Nazis and one of them 
fired his revolver twice through the lad’s right calf and 
twice through his left calf. The lad has now been in hospital 
for three months, and it is probable that he will be lame for 
life. 

<* n 

A Case from, the Provinces. The following statement 
which we have received has been checked up by us in 
detail. It is typical of hundreds of similar reports which are 
in the possession of editors outside Germany and also in 
the hands of many private individuals. 

“ In the little town of Niederstetten, in Wurtemberg 
State, a small Jewish community has lived for centuries. 
Its members are for the most part merchants who, as 
might be expected, in so far as they take any interest in 
politics, belong to the Parties of the Right rather than to 
the Socialists or Communists. Friendly relations existed 
until quite recently between the Christian and the 
Jewish sections of the population, A week before Easter 
a Nazi detachment arrived in the town early one 
morning and occupied the Town Hall, also taking 
control of the police. Then the houses of the Jews were 
searched for Communist documents, naturally without 
any result. In spite of this ten Jews, all respected 
citizens, were taken to the Town Hall and there, one 


248 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

by one, taken to a room. Each of them was then gagged, 
thrown across a chair and beaten with steel rods until 
he was practically unconscious. Then the victims, who 
could hardly stand, were taken to the Council Chamber 
and made to stand up against the wall — c The Wailing 
Wall/ as the Nazis called it. After they had been forced 
to give the Fascist salute, they were allowed to leave the 
Town Hall. Most of them, however, were so weak after 
the ill-treatment they had received that they had to be 
carried home by their relatives. All the victims were ill 
for some weeks and one of them has lost his speech. It 
should be mentioned that the non-Jewish population 
of the town, most of whom had voted Nationalist in the 
election of March 5th, were very indignant at what had 
taken place. An old peasant said : 5 Hitler certainly 
would not have wanted this to be done. 5 The old man 
apparently did not have a wireless, or else he would 
have known that these e German men 5 have enly 
carried out what the leading people in Germany have 
broadcast as their aim in thundering speeches every 
evening. 35 

The following appeal, issued by the “ Action Committee 
for fighting Judah in Neustadt 53 was published in the local 
paper dated May 18th, 1933 ; 

ec Our aim is to liberate Neustadt from JeWs and servants 
of the Jews. We must lay this down once again in plain 
language, in case the people who are affected by it have 
not yet understood it ... if anyone still thinks that he 
can defend the Jews, in our eyes he is a scoundrel with 
whom we shall deal in the same way as we deal with 
the Jews. 55 

In the Nazi Barracks. K. W., of Berlin, reports as 
follows on his experience in a Nazi Barracks : 

“ A twenty-six year old Jew was brought in with me. He 
told me later that he had been arrested on his motor 
cycle, although he had never paid any attention to* 


THE PERSECUTION OF JEWS 1249 

politics and has never voted. First his hair was cut off 
with nail scissors, and then the auxiliary police had a 
dispute as to who was to beat him. The auxiliary 
policeman who had brought him in said, c I need not 
have brought the Jew in at all if I am not going to be 
allowed to beat him. 9 The others said, fi You are drunk ! 
Go and sleep it off. 9 Most of the auxiliary police smelt 
strongly of alcohol. After that the Jew was beaten up 
like the others, with cow-hide whips, steel rods and 
rubber batons. Then a dagger was placed against his 
chest and he was told : c Now you are going to be 
stabbed to death ! 9 He was actually only scratched and 
then he was told that he would be stabbed to death 
early the following morning. At a quarter to six I 
was brought to trial. As they could produce nothing 
against me, I was taken to the sleeping hall where about 
forty men were lying. I myself, was only given a few 
ki$ks and blows wi£h rubber batons. There was also 
what they called a murder-cell. The three men who were 
in this cell had been beaten black from head to foot. 
At seven o’clock in the morning the Nazi officer in 
charge arrived and we were given breakfast, coffee and 
dry bread. Then we were drilled in the courtyard, after 
we had been forced to say, c Hail to our Chancellor, 
Adolf Hitler. 9 While we were being drilled we had to 
sing Deutschland uber AUes and other similar songs. 
Then we were asked whether we would defend the 
Fatherland if there was a war against Poland. We 
replied that we would. After that we were asked what 
we would do if we were set free, and whether we would 
join the Nazis, and to this we also replied in the 
affirmative. 99 

Polish Protests. We cite the following, which is one 
of many official announcements and protests made by 
foreign countries. 

“ Berlin, March 30th. The Polish Ambassador in Berlin 
has lodged a protest with the German Government 


250 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

against the persecution of Polish Israelites by Hitler’s 
bands. The Ambassador mentioned among other cases 
the following which had occurred in Berlin. On March 
4th Herr Israel Weiss was taken from his flat and 
dragged off to a garage, where he was so brutally treated 
that he lost consciousness. After that he was taken to the 
police station where he was kept until March 6th. While 
he was being assaulted Hitler’s followers took from him 
his passport and his rjng and he never recovered these. 
On March 6th, Herr A. L. Mittelmann was attacked 
and taken into a restaurant where he was very severely 
injured. As a result of his treatment he is quite unable 
to work. In Chemnitz and Plauen, Hitler’s followers 
have perpetrated terrible brutalities against the Jews. 
All the Polish Israelites who were arrested in Chemnitz 
were taken under guard through the town, being made 
to wash out all the inscriptions which had been written 
on the walls during the last election. A Polish citizen, 
Adalbert Dafner, was given 50 lashes with a riding- 
whip, being forced after every blow to say 4 Thank 
you.’ Terrible cruelties were carried out against a 
number of Israelites in the prison at Plauen.” 

United States Complaints. A message from Berlin 
dated March 9th states that the American Ambassador has 
lodged a protest against the ill-treatment of American 
citizens. He cites a number of cases which have occurred 
in Berlin alone in the course of a few days. 44 In Berlin 
many Jews, including some of American nationality, have 
been brutally treated. For example, an American citizen, 
Herr Max Schussler, who is the owner of a house and had 
secured the eviction from his house of a Nazi tenant, was 
visited by Nazis one night. In order to gain entry to his 
flat they represented themselves to be police. Then they 
demanded that Herr Schussler should sign a declaration 
allowing the return of his National-Socialist tenant.” 

Official Statement from Czechoslovakia. The 
official press bureau announces under date of Ap^il 




§ 


THE PERSECUTION OF JEWS 25I 

2nd : “ In the hospital at Warnsdorf four refugees from 
Germany who have been brutally treated are now lying. 
Last night, at one o’clock they were taken from a place 
in Saxony which is now a concentration camp to an- 
other village not far from Warnsdorf, being accompanied 
by 12 Nazis. They were four Jews, one of whom is an 
Austrian citizen, two being Poles and the fourth having no 
nationality. A hundred yards from the frontier near 
Warnsdorf the four men were 4:aken out of the lorry and 
beaten up until they were covered with blood, and when 
they ran towards the frontier of Czechoslovakia shots were 
fired after them. Ail four are seriously injured ; one of 
them, in addition to other wounds, has a serious fracture 
of the skull and is unconscious. It must be noted that two 
of them had been settled in Leipzig for 25 years, where they 
were in business, and the other two had been 12 years 
in Dresden. It is announced from Germany that the 
refugees had refused to leave Germany and had conducted 
themselves in an offensive manner to the guards who were 
accompanying them.” 

At the Frontier. The following message comes from 
Prague. “ The Berlin- Athens Express, which every day 
brings several hundred people to Prague, arrived there an 
hour late on April 1st, and with only three passengers. The 
passengers made depositions which they signed before a 
Notary, regarding what had happened in Dresden. At the 
station in Dresden a cordon of Nazis had been drawn up on 
both sides of the train, and another detachment came 
through the compartments giving the order £ Jews out of 
the train.’ All Jewish passengers, including foreigners, were 
forced to leave the train. After this the passports of the 
other passengers on the train were examined, and they were 
also forced to get out. They were forced to line up on the 
platform and then they were ordered to march. The 
column of passengers, guarded by Nazis, went off towards 
the exit from the station. After this nothing more has been 
* heard of them ; they included many women and children,” 


252 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

Another report runs as follows : “ The National Socialists 
even come on to Czechoslovakian territory and promise a 
reward for any refugees who can be brought on to German 
territory under any pretext. The reward promised for an 
ordinary refugee is one hundred crowns, for a Jewish 
refugee, however, the amount is two hundred crowns. 
These facts have been certified by the Czechoslovakian 
authorities. 55 

The following laconic, announcement from Warsaw 
throws further light on the position of refugees : “ Warsaw, 
March 15th. Forty-eight Jewish families from Germany, 
consisting in all of 1 50 persons, have crossed the frontier 
of East Prussia and taken refuge in Poland. There were 
terrible scenes at the frontier, the refugees being horribly 
ill-treated by the German frontier guards. They were 
beaten and kicked and everything they had with them 
was taken from them by the guards. 55 

<*• . 

The Chief Rabbi of France issues a Statement. In 
connection with the denials issued by the German author- 
ities, the Chief Rabbi of France has issued the following- 
statement in connection with the anti-Semitic excesses in 
Germany : 

** I am unfortunately compelled to say that the statements 
regarding atrocities are absolutely correct. We have 
evidence that cannot be disputed and also photographic 
documents. Do not think that we believe what we are 
told by refugees without further examination. We have 
ways of checking up their statements. We are in pos- 
session of documents which have come to us from an 
absolutely reliable source, which I am not able to name. 
I can, however, say that some of these documents have 
an official character and have been prepared by foreign 
Governments. The incidents in question are not cases of 
simple abuse, but cruel persecutions which have created 
victims and martyrs. If we are compelled to publish 
these documents, we shall do so. The conscience of th<? 


THE PERSECUTION OF JEWS 253 

world,” the Chief Rabbi continues, “is deeply troubled 
and is horrified at the revival of barbarism which the 
anti-Semitism of the Nazis represents. In the name of 
humanity and civilisation the whole world protests 
with us. It fears that the restoration of world peace will 
be endangered through these new attacks of brutal 
force against right.” 

The correspondent of the English Manchester Guardian has 
made an extremely detailed and Objective report (published 
April 8th, 1933) which is certainly not coloured either by 
love or by hatred of national Socialism but only by a human 
horror of brutality. 

“ The samples of outrages committed by Brown Shirts 
since the elections make it more evident than ever that 
the Terror has been much worse than was at first 
believed. The British, French, and American press, so 
far from exaggerating it (as the German press com- 
plains), has understated the truth, although this is 
natural enough, seeing that only a small fraction of the 
truth is accessible. The Terror seems to have been 
worst of all — worse even than in Berlin — in Gassel, in 
Silesia (where Heines, who was imprisoned on a charge 
of manslaughter and released by an amnesty, is in charge 
of the Brown Shirts), in Worms, and in many villages. 

“ A precise account of what has happened in the villages 
of Oberhessen alone during the last four weeks would 
make a terrible story. But it is impossible to establish 
more than a few cases, enquiry being made difficult by 
the general fear not only of reprisals but also of imprison- 
ment. A few days ago a man was sentenced to a year’s 
imprisonment for spreading the ‘ false rumour 9 that a 
Jew had been hanged by Brown Shirts — the 5 rumour, 5 
as a matter of fact, was true : the Jew, a certain Mr. 

, was beaten by Brown Shirts and hanged by 

Ms feet, so that his head was suspended off the ground. 
When the Brown Shirts had finished with him he was 
dead. 




t 


254 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

“ Any German who dare say a true word about the Terror 
in his own country runs the risk of a fearful beating, or 
long imprisonment or even death, and no one can 
reasonably be expected to run such a risk. But, as one 
of the victims of the Terror said to your correspondent 
to-day, it is impossible to remain silent even under 
threats. There is no reason why opinion in England and 
the United States should be hoodwinked, and it is 
necessary to point out that letters or statements by 
German Jewish or Republican organisations or Societies 
saying that the Terror has been exaggerated are pro- 
ducts of fear and intimidation and are therefore alto- 
gether unworthy of credence. 

“ Thousands upon thousands of Germans have only one 
wish — to get out of the country. But the frontiers are 
being closed by the new passport regulations and escape 
is impossible except at great risk. Thus all Germany is 
being converted into a huge prispn. 55 c 

Einstein’s Appeal. We will end this section with the 
appeal issued by Professor Einstein after he had been 
driven out of Germany. Professor Einstein arrived at Havre 
on March 27th on the steamer Belgenland. He was met by a 
delegation of the International League against anti- 
Semitism and gave it the following statement written by 
his own hand. 

“ The actual facts of brutal force and oppression against 
every free-minded person and against the Jews, the facts 
of what has taken place and is still taking place in 
Germany, have fortunately aroused the conscience of 
every country which remains true to the ideals of 
humanity and political freedom. ... All friends of our 
civilisation which is so seriously menaced should 
concentrate all their efforts in order to rid the world of 
this psychological disease. 55 


9 


THE PERSECUTION OF JEWS 


2 55 


THE BOYCOTT 

A Defensive Movement. From its early days National 
Socialism has made use of the method of representing itself 
as attacked, persecuted and menaced. The political terror 
which has been organised by Hitler has always worked 
hand in hand with organised lies. 

The boycott against Jewish business concerns and the 
special acts against German Jews, of which we Will speak 
later, give the best examples of the combined use of these 
methods. The National-Socialists might have said : It is in 
accord with our programme and with the demands which 
we have been making for many years that the Jews in 
Germany should be completely wiped out. 

Butwhat did the Na^s actually do by way of justifying 
their boycott of Jewish shops ? They cried out £C We have 
been attacked. The Jews are trying to destroy us. What we 
are doing is in self-defence.” This organised boycott was 
therefore called a defensive movement. 

The boycott manifesto which was posted up every- 
where runs as follows : c< Men and women of the German 
nation ! The people who are guilty of this crime, this 
despicable atrocity campaign, are the Jews in Germany. 
They have called to their fellows abroad to fight against 
the German people. It is they who have issued lying state- 
ments and abuse. For that reason the leaders of the German 
movement of liberation have decided, by way of defence 
against this criminal campaign, to impose a boycott on all 
Jewish businesses, shops, etc., as from ten o’clock in the 
morning of April ist, 1933. We call on you German men 
and women to make this boycott effective. Do not buy from 
Jewish businesses and shops ! Do not go to Jewish lawyers ! 
Have nothing to do with Jewish doctors ! Show the Jews 
that they cannot go unpunished if they humiliate and dis- 
honour Germany. Anyone who opposes this manifesto 




256 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

thereby proves that he is on the side of the enemies of 
Germany. 59 

On March 28th the national leaders of the National- 
Socialist Party published a manifesto to all Party organisa- 
tions in which the German Jews are accused of having 
started the “ atrocity campaign 55 against the National 
Government of Germany. 

The Eleven Points of tiie Programme. On the same 
day the famous eleven points for carrying through the boy- 
cott were published. We give them verbatim below : 

(1) In each local group and section of the National- 
Socialist Party, Action Committees must be formed at once 
for the practical and systematic carrying out of the boycott 
of Jewish shops, Jewish goods, Jewish doctors and Jewish 
lawyers. The Action Committees rre responsible foreseeing 
that the boycott does not harm any innocent person but 
that it hits all the harder all those who are guilty. 

(2) The Action Committees are responsible for protect- 
ing all foreigners without regard to their religion or race. 
The boycott is a purely defensive measure, and it is exclu- 
sively directed against German Jews. 

(3) The Action Committees must immediately popularise 
the boycott by propaganda and explanatory statements. 
The principle of the boycott is that no German should buy 
from any Jew or be served by any Jew or his assistants. The 
boycott must be general. It must be carried out by the 
whole people and must hit Judah in its most sensitive spot. 

(4) In cases of doubt the boycott of businesses must be 
postponed pending a decision from the Central Committee 
in Munich. 

(5) The Action Committees must closely watch the news- 
papers from the standpoint of how far they take part in the 
enlightenment campaign of the German people against the 
atrocity campaign of the Jews. If the newspapers do not Co 


THE PERSECUTION OF JEWS 2§7 

this or only do it to a limited extent steps must be taken to 
see that they are immediately prevented from reaching any 
house in which Germans live. No German man and no 
German business must give them advertisements. They 
must be given to understand that they incur only public 
contempt and that they are written for people of Jewish 
race but not for Germans. 

(6) The Action Committees must carry into the factories 
their propaganda of enlightenment as to the consequences 
to German labour of the Jewish atrocity campaign, and they 
must explain to the workers that the national boycott was 
necessary as a protective measure on behalf of German 
labour. 

(7) The Action Committees must carry their activities 
into the smallest villages in order to strike particularly at 
the Jewish traders in the countryside. 

(8) The boycott must not be introduced gradually, but 
at a "Single blow. All preparatory measures must therefore 
be taken immediately with this in view. Instructions must 
be given to the storm troops to post pickets to warn the 
population against entering Jewish shops from the moment 
when the boycott begins. This will be April ist punctually 
at ten o’clock in the morning. It will be carried on until 
instructions are received from the party leadership, 

(9) The Action Committees must immediately popu- 
larise at thousands of mass meetings, which must reach even 
the smallest village, the demand that Jews shall only be 
admitted to every profession in proportion to the number of 
Jews in the community. In order to make this action more 
effective the demand should at first be restricted to three 
sections : 

A. Students in the intermediate schools and uni- 
versities. 

B. The medical profession. 

G. The legal profession. 

^ (10) The Action Committees are furthermore charged to 
see that every German who has any connection whatever 
It 


258 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

with people in other countries should make use of this, 
in letters, telegrams, and telephonic communications, to 
spread the truth that peace and order reign in Germany, 
that the German people has no more ardent wish than to 
continue its work in peace and to live in peace with the 
rest of the world, and that its fight against the Jewish 
atrocity campaign is purely defensive. 

(11) The Action Committees are responsible for seeing 
that the whole fight is cfarried out absolutely peacefully 
and with the strictest discipline. Henceforth no Jew must 
have even a hair of his head harmed. We must finish with 
this atrocity campaign purely through the effectiveness of 
the measures outlined above. 

This manifesto was accompanied by a long-winded 
explanation each word of which was evidence of a bad 
conscience. The explanation conduded with the words 
“ National Socialists ! On Saturday at 10 o’clock, the Jews 
will know who it is that they are fighting.” 

The lords of the Third Empire appointed to take charge 
of this defensive action a man named Julius Streicher, the 
editor of a newspaper called Der Sturmer . The outside world 
will not know what sort of a paper this is although from 
time to time its circulation runs into hundreds of thousands. 
For his services in editing this Herr Streicher has been 
appointed commissioner in charge of the boycott move- 
ment. 

Herr Streicher had hardly taken up his post when he 
gave an interview to the press at a conference of <£ national 
journalists ” on March 30th. In the course of this inter- 
view he said : 

“ I shall not hesitate to prohibit by force the holding of 
divine service by the German Jews, or to prevent them 
from gaining entry to the synagogues by the use of armed 
storm troops. The stone has now begun to roll ; whether 
the atrocity propaganda ceases or not makes no difference. 


THE PERSECUTION OF JEWS 259 

This foreign propaganda against Hitler has given 
ns the opportunity which we welcome, and the action 
will be carried through. It would be a complete illusion 
to imagine that the Nazis will allow themselves to be 
held back.’’ (He, Stretcher, was completely satisfied with 
the way things had developed ; his only care in the past 
week had been to see that the war of destruction against 
the Jews did not weaken.) “ Had this happened — this is 
my firm conviction — the national revolution would 
have collapsed owing to its own weakness. This danger 
has now finally been averted and the German people 
can trust in me to carry out the whole of the necessary 
work in connection with the Jews.” 

Preparations for the Boycott. Incitements to Jew- 
baiting were systematically developed during the last few 
days )*efore the boycott ^An example of this was the speech 
given by the newly appointed Chief of Police in Frankfort, 
reported in the Frankfurter Volksblatt of March 30th : 

“ No Nazi will have anything to do with a Jew, because 
he knows that the Jew is of inferior race. And I am no 
longer going to permit animals born on German soil to 
be killed by the sadistic Asiatic methods of slaughter 
used by the Jews. If the Jew cannot eat our meat then 
let him eat potatoes and turnips as you did in the hungry 
winters of the war. Germany is awake. You Jews, you 
have no need to tremble, we shall remain legal, so legal 
that perhaps legality will be uncomfortable for you, and 
then you can go to Palestine and fleece each other.” 

The instructions from the Nazi leaders issued in a steady 
stream. Action Committees were set up everywhere and 
they were given the task of ascertaining which shops, stores, 
lawyers’ offices, etc., were in the hands of Jews. The Central 
Committee for the boycott of Jewish concerns laid down 
the following principles for action : 


260 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

“ The Action Committees must hand over to the storm- 
troops the list of shops which have been ascertained to 
be Jewish, in order that these may be picketed from ten 
o’clock in the morning of Saturday, April ist, 1933. The 
pickets are charged with informing the public that the 
shops at which they are posted are Jewish. They are 
forbidden to take any physical measures of restraint. 
They are also forbidden to close the shop. In order to 
make it clear which shops are Jewish, posters or placards 
with yellow spots on a black ground must be posted at 
the entrance doors. The Jewish shops which are boy- 
cotted must not dismiss their non-Jewish employees and 
workers, or give them notice. The Action Committees, 
in agreement with the political leaders of the district, 
must organise mass demonstrations and processions in 
all areas on Friday evening. On the Saturday morning 
at ten o’clock at latest, the posters with the boycott pro- 
clamation must be put up on dll advertising spaces. At 
the same time lorries, or better still furniture vans, 
must be driven through the streets with posters bearing 
the following words in the order given : 

€ In defence against the Jewish atrocity and boycott 
campaign ! * 

* Boycott all Jewish shops 1 ’ 

* Don’t buy from Jewish stores ! ’ 

* Don’t go to Jewish lawyers ! ’ 
e Avoid Jewish doctors ! ’ 

e The Jews are our bane ! ’ 

“ The Committees must organise collections in the 
German shops to finance this movement of defence.” 

During the days preceding April ist the following 
announcement was posted on all advertisement spaces 
throughout Germany : 

“ The Jews have time to reflect until Saturday morning p.t 
10 o’clock. Then the fight begins. The Jews of the whole 



262 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

world are trying to destroy Germany. German people, 
defend yourselves ! Don’t buy from the Jews ! 35 

Several of the Government Departments also issued 
instructions as to the measures which were to be taken in 
connection with the boycott. All sections of the Nazi or- 
ganisation also issued detailed instructions ; there was no 
party official who failed to take the opportunity to make 
himself important by issuing an instruction of some kind. 

Treatment of Judges. An eyewitness has given us the 
following report : 

** On Friday, March 31st, an extraordinary scene took 
place in front of the High Court in Gologne. Nazi lads 
forced their way into the court buildings and dragged 
out the Jewish lawyers and judges. Then these were put 
into a refuse cart and made the laughing stock^of the 
crowd. Many of the lawyers and judges were still 
wearing their robes. The police looked on without 
interfering. The cart was then taken to the main police 
station, which is a considerable distance from the 
court. 

“The official report, which is an absolute lie, was 
as follows : c In Gologne, members of the Nazi 
storm troop, in conjunction with the police, arrested a 
number of Jewish judges and lawyers for their personal 
safety, as a large crowd had collected in front of the 
Law Courts. 3 33 

The boycott had a limit — namely, at the point when it 
endangered profit. In effect, all these measures only hurt 
the Jewish middle class and working class but not the big 
Jewish capitalists. And when it was a question of trade 
with foreigners, all prejudice and race-hatred had to fall 
into the background, and the Jews were not treated as 
cc Sub-men 33 or “ World Pests 33 but only as extremely 
welcome paying guests. Here is a report published in tjj.e 
Frankfurter feitung : 


THE PERSECUTION OF JEWS 263 

“ Wiesbaden, May 31st. Up to the present this year, the 
number of visitors has fallen below expectations. The 
number of foreign visitors during the first week of May, 
which is always the height of the season for Wiesbaden, 
was 1,744, and in the festival week following, it rose 
only to 1,808, falling again to 1,760 in the third week. 
The total number of visitors up to the middle of May 
has only been 27,000. It is therefore in the interests of 
this health resort that the local magistrates, the directors 
of the Kurhaus, and the National district leaders should 
make it known to everyone concerned bqth in the 
country and abroad that the mineral springs of Wies- 
baden are as before available without hindrance to all 
visitors from all countries, and that peace and order have 
never been disturbed in this town. . . . The authorities 
of Wiesbaden should feel their responsibility both to the 
population and also to foreign visitors, and should 
guarantee to all wHo are either permanently in Wies- 
baden or make a temporary stay there, without regard 
to their religion or political outlook, a secure and 
pleasant visit. 59 

Laws of Exception. The open boycott ended on April 1st, 
although the National Socialist press, the official leaders of 
the party, as well as their spokesmen, had assured the whole 
organisation that this historic Saturday must be regarded 
as “ merely a test preparatory to a whole series of other 
measures, 99 which “ would be carried out unless the opinion 
of the world, which at the moment was hostile, underwent 
a complete change." 

Opinion in other countries certainly changed radically, 
but in a direction unfavourable to the Third Empire. The 
Government in Germany was quick to notice this ; in fact 
they noted it even before the boycott, and they realised that 
this open demonstration against the Jews was bad business. 
The National Socialists have principles, but they have 
|lways been prepared to sell them. 


264 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

The Retreat. In the course of the week before the boy- 
cott even Herr Streicher, evidently under instructions from 
the Government, stated that it would not be necessary to 
resume the boycott. And the Minister for Propaganda and 
National Enlightenment told the representatives of the 
foreign Press on March 31st : 

“ That the Government had decided provisionally to 
restrict the boycott against the Jews to Saturday, 
April 1st, when it would operate from ten o’clock in the 
morning till eight in the evening. After that no further 
action "“would be taken until Wednesday. If the inter- 
national press had by then stopped its agitation against 
Germany no further action would be taken, but if this 
were not the case, a boycott would be started at ten 
o’clock on Wednesday morning and this boycott would 
drive the Jews of Germany into absolute ruin. The 
instructions that two months’ r wages and salaries of 
employees of Jewish firms must be paid in advance from 
April 1st is cancelled.” 

The last sentence of this announcement shows that under 
the pressure of events the National Socialists had been 
forced to repeal their own decrees. It had originally been 
decided that all owners of Jewish shops must pay all their 
Christian employees two months’ salary in advance. The 
consequence of this was a run on the banks which might 
have led to a catastrophe if this decree had not been with- 
drawn at the earliest possible moment. 

The Silent Boycott. The public boycott was a demon- 
stration, and as a demonstration it failed and was not 
resumed. On the other hand, the silent boycott was con- 
tinued, a boycott which cost nothing and hit not so much 
the rich and powerful Jewish firms as the tens of thousands 
of Jewish employees, doctors, lawyers, teachers, officials, 
university professors, etc. Hundreds of thousands of Jews 
have been deprived of their living ; but this has givep 
hundreds of thousands of places for Nazi hange#s-on. 


THE PERSECUTION OF JEWS 265 

Jewish Lawyers not Allowed to Practise. ■ In Berlin 
at first out of 1,200 Jewish lawyers, only thirty-five 
were permitted to practise, and the number allowed to 
continue their practice in Cologne was only four. All Jewish 
judges have been given “ leave of absence. 35 

The Commissioner of the Prussian Ministry of Justice 

issued the following instructions on March 31st : 

* 

“ The irritation of the people at the presumptuous 
attitude of Jewish lawyers and doctors has reached such 
a height that it is necessary to take into account the 
possibility that the people may take the law into their 
own hands, especially during the period of the defence 
campaign of the German people against the Jewish 
atrocity propaganda. This would endanger the authority 
of the administration of justice. I therefore request you 
to suggest to all Jewish judges now in office that they 
should at once apply for leave of absence, and this 
should immediately be granted to them. Please arrange 
with the Lawyers 5 Association or other local organisa- 
tions of the legal profession that from 10 o’clock to- 
morrow morning the number of Jewish lawyers per- 
mitted to practise is fixed in a proportion which is the 
same as that of the Jewish population to the rest of the 
population. It is unnecessary to point out that Jewish 
lawyers should not be employed as junior counsel, nor 
should they be allowed to take dock briefs, or be ap- 
pointed receivers in bankruptcy or trustees. All engage- 
ments of Jewish lawyers in connection with official 
cases must immediately be withdrawn. The Executives 
of Associations of Lawyers must be induced to resign. 
If the provincial and local leaders of the National 
Socialists express the desire to supervise the maintenance 
of security and order within the court buildings by 
sending armed pickets to these places, their wishes 
;| should be complied with.” 


266 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

Similar instructions were issued against Jewish doctors. 
In the first place they were excluded from Health Insur- 
ance practice, which of course, covered the great majority 
of all cases. 

The teachers and lecturers in Prussian educational 
institutions were required by the Minister of Culture, 
Rust, to fill out a questionnaire as to their racial origin. 

The Civil Service. As for Government officials, the 
following decree was published in the beginning of April : 

ip 

<c Anyone of non- Aryan descent, particularly if their 
parents or grandparents were Jewish, is to be regarded 
as non- Aryan. One parent or one grandparent who is 
non-Aryan is sufficient. This is particularly to be 
assumed when one parent or grandparent has been a 
member of the Jewish religious community. Further- 
more, every official who has joined the service since 
August ist, 1914, must prove that he is of Aryan descent 
or that he fought at the front or that his son or father fell 
in the world war. Birth certificates and marriage 
certificates of parents, in addition to military papers, 
must be sent in. If the Aryan descent of an official is 
doubtful, a decision must be made by the office of 
experts for racial investigation attached to the Ministry 
of the Interior. In deciding whether the provisions of 
Section 4, par. 1, apply, the whole political activity of 
the official concerned, particularly since Nov. 9th, 
1918, must be taken into account. Every official is 
under an obligation to inform his superior authorities 
to what political party he has hitherto belonged and 
what his political activities have been. The Reichs- 
banner, the Republican Richterbund, and the League 
for the Rights of Man are to be considered political 
parties within the meaning of this paragraph. This 
decree finally and definitely puts an end to the scandal 
of the November system, which aims at the destruction 
of the honest professional Government servant by the 


the persecution of jews 267 

introduction of party officials and office seekers. The 
consequences of this criminal policy have been the 
innumerable scandals of corruption, in which the people 
concerned were always representatives of the parties 
which, in November 1918, by treason and cowardice had 
put themselves at the head of a clean and untarnished 
State. It is well-known and does not require to be 
proved here in detail that the most prominent supporters 
of the November Republic' had been involved in the 
worst of these affairs. That period is now gone for 
ever, and the new Germany will once more be ad- 
ministered by really efficient officials, as the world knows 
it was before the ward 5 

The special importance of this decree is that subse- 
quently almost all categories of university-trained people 
(doctors, lawyers, teachers in high schools, etc.), and also 
banl officials and conltnercial employees, were put through 
a sieve in accordance with the principles laid down in this 
decree. 

The Attack on Jewish Doctors. The following 
manifesto was published in the Medical Journal of Greater 
Berlin, dated May 20th, 1933. The writer, a certain Dr. 
Ruppin, is not just a nobody ; he is Commissioner of the 
Provincial Medical Association of the provinces of Bran- 
denburg and Grenzmark. The article is headed u Away 
with Jewish Doctors ! 55 The text is as follows : 

cc The complete removal of Jews from all academic pro- 
fessions is necessary. Members of the free academic pro- 
fessions, particularly doctors, come into personal con- 
tact with very wide circles of the population and occupy 
a position of confidence in relation to their patients 
which gives them influence over the outlook of the 
people with whom they are in contact. The Provincial 
Executive of the Doctors of Brandenburg therefore con- 
t siders it unthinkable that in our National State a Jew 
should have the possibility of spreading the poison of 




268 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

Jewish thought in this way. Undoubtedly, the earlier 
ideal conception of professional duty has given way in 
wide circles of the profession to the Jewish commercial 
outlook, and this is due to the over-loading of the profes- 
sion with Jews, This commercial attitude must be driven 
out of the medical profession and we must make its re- 
introduction impossible. In so far as corruption has 
penetrated the profession, it must be rooted out by the 
most decisive measured. We German doctors therefore 
demand the exclusion of all Jews from the possibility 
of giving medical treatment to our German people, 
because the Jew is the incarnation of lies and deceit. 
Furthermore, we demand legislation to punish with 
imprisonment and immediate removal from the pro- 
fession the offences and crimes which are associated 
with the positions of confidence filled by the profession. 
We doctors ask all National professional organisations 
in Germany to support our demand.” 

By way of supplement to the above we give the follow- 
ing decree of Commissioner Dr. Wagner, who is in control 
of the German Medical Associations : 

“ In pursuance of the boycott against the Jews, the Berlin 
Health department, by agreement with the Mayor, 
instructed its sections not to meet any claims from its 
members where Jewish doctors have been called in to 
treat cases on or after April ist. Where a Jewish doctor 
had previously been called in, it is suggested that mem- 
bers should consider whether to continue to make use 
of him. The Health Insurance Institute hopes that a 
sense of national duty will prevent the members from 
making use of Jewish chemists, dispensaries, opticians, 
or dentists.” 

Dismissal of Jewish Teachers. We can give only a few 
examples of the many similar instructions which have beei^ 
issued in connection with the various professions. The 


THE PERSECUTION OF JEWS 269 

future position of Jewish teachers in Germany is indi- 
cated by a letter issued by one of the most prominent of 
the Nazi leaders, Dr. Lopelmann, a member of the Prussian 
Diet : 

We call your attention to the fact that it is intolerable 
that Jewish teachers should still fill posts in Prussian 
educational institutions, while German soldiers who 
fought at the front have to gander round as underpaid 
auxiliary teachers in their own Fatherland. Further- 
more, we consider it an impossible situation that any 
regard should be paid to the exaggerated claims of male 
and female Jewish scholars. On behalf of the National 
Socialist Parliamentary fraction in Prussia we expect 
you to take the following measures : 

(1) All Jewish teachers, that is, teachers of Jewish 
descent, must immediately be dismissed or sent on 
leave from all Prussian educational institutions, 

(2) In the case of male and female scholars who are 
Jews, the proportionate clause must be applied, so that 
the percentage of pupils of Jewish origin in any institu- 
tion must correspond with the proportion of Jews to the 
whole German population ; that is to say, only one per 
cent of the students at any institution may be Jews or 
of Jewish descent.” 

In accordance with this circular, almost all Jewish 
teachers employed in the public educational system were 
immediately “ granted leave.” An instruction issued by the 
chief official of Brandenburg and Berlin extended these 
measures also to Jewish private teachers. 

A Cabinet Meeting on April 25th passed an Act 66 against 
the excessive number of students of foreign race in German 
schools and universities.” 

The same principals were applied to the staffs of uni- 
versities. In an earlier chapter some of the best known 
Jewish lecturers who have been dismissed are mentioned. 


9 


270 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

Removal of Jewish Editors and Journalists, The JVeue 
Freie Presse of April 13 th, 1933, reports : 

“ In the extraordinary general meeting of members of the 
Berlin district organisation of the National Union of the 
German Press, it was unanimously decided to nominate 
Dr. Dietrich, at the general delegate meeting, for the 
presidency of the Union. After the general meeting of 
the Berlin organisation,, the new committee met, and 
adopted unanimously a motion that in future no 
Jewish or Marxist editors were to be admitted to 
membership. A further motion for the general delegate 
meeting was also adopted unanimously, demanding 
that Jewish and Marxist editors be not permitted to 
enter or belong to the National Union of the German 
Press. 39 

Almost all Jewish editors of German papers have Been 
dismissed, and contributions from independent journalists 
of Jewish faith or Jewish origin are not accepted. It must be 
noted that in this connection even Jewish newspaper 
proprietors have achieved inglorious distinction ; for 
example, Giitermann, the Jewish proprietor of the JVeue 
Badische Landeszeitung in Mannheim, dismissed all his 
Jewish editorial staff and employees as early as March 1st. 

Debarred from Lists of Assessors and Juries. The silent 
boycott of the Jews continues in every sphere ; they are 
being banished from all public life. The JVeue Freie Presse 
of April 1 2 th reports the exclusion of Jews from the lists of 
assessors, jurymen and arbitrators : 

“ The Government has decided to shorten the current 
period of office of all assessors and jurymen to 
June 30th, at which date the period of office of com- 
mercial arbitrators will also be brought to a close. The 
new lists of assessors and jurymen will be differently r 
constituted in future, as in present circumstances the 


THE PERSECUTION OF JEWS 27 1 

municipal authorities will naturally send people of a 
different outlook to participate in the electoral colleges. 
There will no longer be any Communist assessors and 
jurymen. The number of Social Democrats nominated 
will be considerably smaller than hitherto, and it is 
probable that no Jews will be elected. The appointment 
of the new commercial arbitrators will also be on the 
same lines. The decree just issued provides that, until 
new elections of assessors and jurymen are held, judges 
need not adhere to the existing rules for bringing in 
lay assistants ; for example, they may pass oyer certain 
names on the lists.” 

Jews as “ Outcasts ” in Sport. Even in sport|every Jew 
is an <£ outcast.” Although even in America coloured boxers 
are allowed to take part in championship fights, German 
boxers of Jewish faith or origin are no longer allowed to 
appear in the boxing ring in Germany. The holder of the 
middle weight championship in Germany, Erich Seelig, 
was prevented from defending his title in Germany ; he 
was, however, able to show his form in France. Daniel 
Prenn, who is far and away the best tennis player in 
Germany, can no longer be selected to represent Germany 
in international matches. We await with interest the steps 
which are to be taken against Helene Mayer, the champion 
woman fencer. Although probably no one looks more 
“ pure-blooded ” and Nordic than she does, she is the 
daughter of a Jewish doctor in Offenbach. 

We quote the following as a good example of many similar 
announcements ; it was printed in the JVeue Freie Presse of 
April 28th, 1933 : 

<e The German Swimming Association issues the following 
statement ; c The German Swimming Association has 
adopted the Aryan clause. In what form the member- 
ship of Jews in all sports associations, and therefore in 
g the Swimming Association, will be regulated, and 
whether the Aryan clause will be incorporated in the 




2J2 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

Statutes of the Association, will be determined in 
accordance with instructions issued by the Government. 
Meanwhile, I order that Jews shall be removed from all 
leading positions in the association and put into the 
background ; and they must not appear as representa- 
tives in displays or take part in sports meetings. — 
George Hax. 5 

The German Swimming Association is at present 
affiliated to the International Swimming Association, 
and the Aryan clause conflicts with the statutes of the 
latter body, which prescribe equality of rights for every- 
one. The president of the International Swimming 
Association is, however, Binner, who was ‘removed 
from the Executive of the German Association because 
of his international outlook.’ 

Pending the final decision of the Government Com- 
missioner of Sport, the regulations relating to official 
posts will be applied to Jewish* members of the DSB 
Union. This means that only those Jews (by race, not 
religion) who enjoy protection under the Civil Service 
Law will be allowed to take part in sports meetings.” 

Malicious Rumours. But when business questions come 
in, in this connection also loyalty to principle takes second 
place. The Government-controlled 12- U hr -Mi ltags~Bla it 
of April 19th, 1933, under the heading “ Malicious 
Rumours ” gives an assurance that the race question will 
not be raised at the Eleventh Olympiad, which is to take 
place in Berlin in 1936 : 

“ The foreign boycott-propaganda against Germany has 
even penetrated sport. Many foreign papers have 
repeatedly stated during the last few weeks that efforts 
are being made, especially in the United States, to 
transfer to another country the Olympic Games which 
have been arranged for Berlin in 1936, on the alleged 
grounds that measures will be taken in Germany 
to prevent Jewish sportsmen from taking part in 


THE PERSECUTION OF JEWS *273 

international competitions. In reply to an official en- 
quiry, Avery Brundage, chairman of the American Olym- 
pic committee, stated that the International Olympic 
Committee had the right to select where the Olympiad 
would be held. The Committee, which is to meet in 
Vienna in June, would undoubtedly consider the 
question ; his personal opinion was that the Olympic 
Games should not be held in a country where the 
fundamental Olympic principle of the equality of all 
races was being violated. In connection with the 
premature declaration made by this leading American 
sportsman, it must be stated that no measures have been 
or will be taken in Germany which make participation 
in international sporting events dependent on the 
question of race. The world can be confident that every 
individual who is sent to Berlin to represent his country 
in the Olympic Games will be received and treated as 
a guest, irrespectrtfb of his race or nationality.” 

Passports. Special regulations are also in force for 
Jewish holders of passports. The Breslau chief of police has 
issued instructions 

“ that German citizens of Jewish faith or formerly of 
Jewish faith who are in possession of passports must 
present these in person at the police headquarters of 
the area in which they live, not later than April 3rd, 
1933. The passports will be returned after they have 
been altered so as to make them valid only for internal 
travelling in Germany,” 

Special Hours for the Baths. There is hardly any 
possible regulation calculated to bring Jewish citizens into 
disrepute of which some person in authority or some 
administrative body has not thought. The town of Speyer in 
the Palatinate will live in the history of these times for its 
^unique inventive powers. It has the glory of being the first 
German municipal authority to issue a regulation 


274 brown book of the hitler terror 

“ that in the interests of public order Jews may only use 
the municipal baths at certain hours of the day. 55 

Other German municipal authorities were quick to 
follow this example. The Frankfurter £eitung of May 24th, 
*933> reports : 

“ At the Tubingen council meeting on May 15th it was 
moved by a National Socialist that £ Jews and persons 
of foreign race be excluded from the use of the free 
municipal baths. 5 The motion was adopted with only 
three voting against it. 55 

Shortly afterwards, the Upper Silesian newspapers 
published similar regulations. 

Dismissal of Jewish Employees. It would be a mistake 
to think that German Jews were only thrown out of the 
professions. A good deal is said, and rightly so, about the 
outlawry of Jewish professors, doctors, lawyers, teachers and 
artists ; but unfortunately not so much attention is paid to 
the treatment of Jewish employees, small traders and 
workers. But the main part of the Jewish population is 
covered by these categories ; and the economic position of 
these Jews is just as difficult as that of the non-Jewish lower 
middle class and working class. The Nazi factory cell 
organisations have been most assiduous in depriving the 
Jewish clerks, small traders and workers of their livelihood. 
A Berlin message of March 31st runs : 

“ On the instructions of the National Socialist Party 
Executive, the factory cell organisation instructs 
National Socialist factory cell committees, together with 
the workers 5 organisations, to visit the Jewish shops and 
demand two months 5 payment in advance for Christian 
workers and employees. The demand should also be 
made that all Jewish employees be dismissed. Any- r 
one refusing to comply with these demands must be 


THE PERSECUTION OF JEWS 275 

immediately reported to the party leadership, which will 
take the necessary steps. Punctually at three o’clock 
to-morrow afternoon all employees and workers in 
Jewish shops must leave work and take part in warning 
off customers. Newspapers and vital industries are 
excepted, but in any case all Jewish employees must be 
dismissed. In the Ullstein publishing house the whole of 
the responsible editorial staff of Jewish race has been 
granted leave of absence.” * 

The Frankfurter Zeitung of May 28th, 1933, states : 

“ It is reported in the Possnecker Handlerblatt , the official 
journal of the Association of German Merchants, Show- 
men and Commercial Travellers, whose headquarters 
are at Dresden, that at a provincial conference of the 
Union of Traders the question was raised whether 
Jewish merchants and traders would be allowed access 
to the markets in future. The president of the pro- 
vincial organisation put forward the view that ‘ the 
Jews must be completely rooted out.’ ” 

Business is Business — even for anti-Semites. The Volk - 
ischer Beobachter of April 2nd, proclaims the “ spontaneous 
rise of prices on the Stock Exchange, now rid of Jews,” as 
the most obvious result of the boycott movement. We know 
why such a point is made of this ; it is to show that the 
fight is not against the existing system, not against capit- 
alism and not even against the excesses of capitalism, but 
that it is a competitive fight of the national profiteers 
against the Jewish profiteers. The members of the Stock 
Exchange can do business even on a “ Stock Exchange now 
rid of Jews.” The fight is not against capitalism, not against 
private property, but against the small man ; against the 
“ Aryan ” workers and middle class who are being hoaxed ; 
against the Jewish employees and small traders, who are 
l^eing ruined, to the delight of the capitalists of cc Aryan ” 
and Jewish blood. 


# 


276 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

The 44 Aryan 33 principles are regulated everywhere by 
the size of a man’s purse. In a statement printed in the 
Berliner Tageblatt of March 31st, 1933, Herr Oskar Wasser- 
mann, a director of the Deutsche Bank und Diskontogesell- 
schaft, correctly stated that he had not suffered the least 
inconvenience, and that the change of things had not made 
any noticeable difference so far as he was concerned, even 
from a social standpoint. The other Jewish capitalists may 
equally congratulate themselves : the National Socialist 
Government is doing its utmost for their material well- 
being, It has issued reproofs to those in its lower organisa- 
tions who thought that the basis of anti-Semitism was the 
National Socialist hostility to capitalism. It protects, if not 
the Jews, at least Jewish capital. Business first ! Capitalism, 
whether 44 Aryan 33 or represented by Jews, is not to fall a 
victim to the spiritual revival which the 44 National Revolu- 
tion 33 has brought to boiling point. The Frankfurter J&itung 
and the Volkischer Beobachter of March 27th publish the 
following letter, addressed by the 44 Commissioner for 
Trade, 33 Dr. Wagner, to the president of the 44 National 
Socialist Party Office for Municipal Politics, 33 Mayor 
Fiehler of Munich : 

C4 I have recently received from a number of business 
firms copies of circulars issued by various local authori- 
ties to a large number of manufacturers and other 
business concerns, with a view to ascertaining whether 
the concerns can be regarded as 4 German undertak- 
ings. 3 The questions put in the circulars are intended to 
discover to what extent the capital of the firm concerned 
is German, to what extent non-Aryan and non-German 
principals are connected with it, and so forth. While I 
am of course completely in agreement with the view 
that the municipalities particularly should only obtain 
their requirements from German firms, I nevertheless 
consider it necessary that a stop should be put to the 
measures which have been taken. The whole complex 
of questions raised in these circulars is not so simple 


THE PERSECUTION OP JEWS 277 

that decisions can be made by a mere e Yes 9 or 6 No 5 
or on the basis of figures. It is rather the Government's 
task to see that every undertaking in Germany , no matter where 
its capital comes from or who controls it, finds its place in the 
German economic system, and that the management 
of each undertaking is in future conducted exclusively 
from a German economic standpoint. In carrying 
through this necessary task the Government can how- 
ever only be hindered, if through the action of certain 
authorities a situation is created which reacts unfavour- 
ably on economic life. Our aim cannot be terrain exist- 
ing economic undertakings in Germany, even if they 
are worked with foreign capital and have hitherto been 
directed to some extent by foreign individuals, but 
rather to compel them to act in a German way and in 
conformity with the great principle laid down by our 
leader — e the common good before private interests . 5 
I must therefore rSquest you to use your influence, as 
the leader of the Department of Municipal Politics, to 
prevent further circulars of this type being issued in 
future, and to explain that such measures will cause a 
dislocation in the whole of the country's economic life 
which, with the best will in the world, we do not want 
at the present time . 55 

£< With the best will in the world 55 — they do not want 
any capitalist to suffer loss in this ec national revolution . 55 
We knew this long ago. The people who still swear by the 
“ Socialist 55 Adolf Hitler, and expect him to perform the 
miracle of securing for the peasants higher prices and at 
the same time lower prices for the consumer, higher wages 
for the workers and at the same time greater profits for the 
employers, higher salaries for civil servants together with 
economies to the State — these misled and incited C£ miracle 
believers 55 will before long be roused from their hypnotised 
state by the undeniable and inexorable fact that in the 
“ Third Empire 55 no one gains anything but the capitalists, 
whether they are of Jewish or non-Jewish faith. They will 


# 


278 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

learn from what they have still to experience in the “ Third 
Empire 95 that the whole campaign against the Jews has 
only served to distract them from the struggle against the 
people who are really responsible for their conditions. 

The Aryan Clause and Race Officials. W e have seen that 
the anti-Semitism of the New Germany has a biological 
basis : that it is racial anti-Semitism. This biological anti- 
Semitism dates back to the T anti-Semitic campaign led by the 
court chaplain Stocker, which derived its “ ideology,” that 
is, its pseudo-scientific justification, from Eugen Dlihring’s 
The Jewish Question as a question of Racial Character. u Race 
science,” which used to be a hobby-horse of freak 
writers and was never taken seriously, has now in the New 
Germany been declared an official “ science ” — which 
means that it is now a lucrative profession. 

The Jews as a “ Race.” It is true that in spite of all its 
efforts this “ science ” has not yet succeeded in proving 
that the Germans are a race ; on the contrary, it is evident 
that the Germans are a mixed people and are very far from 
having any right to call themselves <c Nordic.” But these 
curious research-workers have not yet even succeeded in 
proving that the Jews are really a “ race.” 

We will come to their aid : there is something in the talk 
of a Jewish race. But in this case too it is necessary to stand 
things on their head in order to examine the matter, which 
is extremely complex. That is to say, we must treat race, not 
as an original factor, but as an artificial product, not as the 
beginning, but as the result of a process of evolution. To 
attempt to trace back the Jews of the present day to the 
original Jews of the Bible would be a hazardous and absurd 
undertaking. In the course of Jewish history there was a 
constant mingling of races which it is not easy to disen- 
tangle. But from about a.d. 1000, at the end of the 
period of proselytism (that is, the entry of people of other 
faiths into the Jewish religious community), the religion 
and laws of the Jews themselves, and the social relations in 


THE PERSECUTION OF JEWS 279 

which they lived, maintained an “ in-breeding 55 which in 
duration and degree has no parallel in European history. 
The anthropological characteristics of race originated dur- 
ing this period, which in the course of more than eight 
hundred years produced a new type of human being, 
namely, the Jew. 

But what is to be gained even by proving the existence of 
Jewish racial characteristics is quite another matter. The 
special characteristics of the Jews against which the anti- 
Semites pretend they are fighting are not in any way the 
product of race, but of the social conditions in which they 
live : the fact that they are a caste whose conditions of 
existence are prescribed by the world around them. When 
these imposed conditions no longer exist, then the charac- 
teristics disappear immediately, that is to say, at least in 
the second generation which has not had to live in these 
conditions. 

But such theoreticaPdiscussions take us a long way from 
the actual practice of National Socialism. In this sphere 
everything is much simpler and more straightforward. 
There is not a single question in which National Socialism 
has acted in accordance with its own arguments ; on the 
contrary, it has always post factum found venal persons to 
justify its own barbarities as “■ acts of culture. 55 And if in 
Germany to-day “ racial research 55 sets itself up as 
“ science, 55 the real purpose is only to provide a new cloak 
for the bestialities of the existing regime. 

ce Race Officials.” The Frankfurter /feitung of May 5th, 
*933> reports : 

“ Dortmund, May 4th. (TU). The Government Commis- 
sioner of Dortmund has issued instructions for the 
immediate organisation of a Race Department in Dort- 
mund. The Assistant Commissioner for Health, Dr. 
Brauss, who is to take charge of the department, has 
* made an important statement to the press on the 
question of racial hygiene. He indicated that medical 


£>8o brown book of the hitler terror 

material relating to the 80,000 schoolchildren in Dort- 
mund, which provided partial material for statistics of 
race hygiene, was already available. Thus the depart- 
ment would first deal with the young persons who would 
constitute the next generation. At the same time, the 
investigations laid down under the recently published, 
regulations would be undertaken, that is, in connection 
with the candidates for official positions and the 
students in the higher schools and universities. Investiga- 
tion of the whole population would be a task for future 
years. . 

46 The early publication of laws for the separation of the race and 
its division into types was to be anticipated . 

“ The essential feature of this legislation would be the 
prohibition of any intermingling of races in Germany ; 
the population would also have to be divided into 
families whose offspring would be welcome to the Sjate, 
and those whose offspring would be regarded as a burden 
on the nation. The logical consequence would be the 
demand for the compulsory sterilisation of criminals 
and other anti-social elements. The fact that all the 
Medical Associations of Prussia had recently declared 
in favour of the sterilisation of criminals, in the interests 
of the nation as a whole, proved that this demand put 
forward by the National Socialists was already recog- 
nised as justified by wide circles of the nation. The 
fundamental aim of the organisation of racial hygiene 
could only be reached after some generations, but a 
Government which was conscious of its responsibility 
was obliged to think in terms of generations.” 

Dr. Achim Gercke, a pushing young man, got himself 
appointed “ Ministerial Adviser and Expert for Racial 
Research in the Ministry of the Interior.” 

Men and 4 c Sub-Men. 55 All of this seems relatively “ harm- 
less.” It is primarily directed to bring about the economic 
destruction of the Jewish population, but not to threaten* 1 


THE PERSECUTION OP JEWS 28l 

life and limb. The following leaflet is not so harmless ; it was 
distributed in thousands in all restaurants, and in particular 
was given to every German girl who was seen in company 
with a Jew. 

This document threatens every girl who is suspected of 
the terrible crime of being friendly with a Jew that her 
face will be branded with the initials J.H. — Juden-Hure , 
Jewish prostitute. The assurance is given that this is no 
mere empty threat, but that in' any circumstances it will 
be carried out if the girl is seen again in company with 
a Jew. 

In this we have a clearer example of the National 
Socialist distinction between men and <c sub-men,” sub- 
men being everyone who does not think and feel as the 
National Socialists do. The National Socialists divide the 
44 men 55 and the 46 sub-men 9 5 into different groups. In 
Group I are the 44 pure representatives of the Nordic race.” 
In Group II (accordii^g to £iel und Weg, the journal of the 
National Socialist doctors) are, along with 44 inebriates, 
drug-takers, habitual criminals and prostitutes, all persons 
of foreign race, particularly Jews.” 

The National Socialist 44 race theoretician,” Professor 
Stammler, proposed on behalf of the National Socialist 
doctors the following law for the 44 Division of the Race ” : 

44 i. Every person who is of foreign racial blood to the 
extent of one-half— that is, one of whose parents or two 
of whose grand-parents were of foreign race, irrespective 
of their religion — is regarded as of foreign race. Foreign 
race means all coloured races, near- Asiatic and oriental 
races including the Jew. 

“ a. In conformity with this every adult German citizen 
must declare on oath, at the registration office for his 
area, to what race he belongs. In the case of persons 
under age, the declaration must be made by their legal 
representatives. False declarations will be punished with 
imprisonment and confiscation of property. 

“ 3. Persons ascertained to be of foreign race must in 


282 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

future describe themselves not as Germans but as of 
foreign race (Jews from Germany, etc.). 

<s 4. Persons born after the day of grace are to rank as 
Germans only when both parents are German. Younger 
brothers or sisters, however, rank as of the same nation- 
ality as their elder brothers or sisters whose nationality 
has been established by declaration.” 

u Breeding Farms.” Professor Stammler, whose name 
has already been mentioned, writes that 44 The aim of 
breeding i& a physically, morally and mentally sound person 
of Nordic race. 5 ’ To help towards the achievement of this 
aim “ breeding farms 55 are to be provided. The out- 
pourings of a certain Professor Ernst Bergmann indicate 
what kind of breeding farms they have in mind : 

£e There are quite enough willing and industrious (!) men 
and youths to provide mates for the available women and 
girls, and fortunately one lively lad suffices for 10 to 20 
girls who have not yet killed their desire for a child, were 
it not for the civilised nonsense, so contrary to nature, 
of monogamous and permanent marriage.” (Professor 
Ernst Bergmann, in Erkenntnisgeist und Mutter geist.) 

We conclude these examples with yet another “ Bill 
for the Preservation of Race Purity,” which contains the 
following : 

“ 1. Marriages between Germans and persons of foreign 
races are prohibited. Those which have already been 
contracted remain valid ; but new marriages must not 
be entered into and will not be recognised. 

<c 2. Extra-matrimonial sexual intercourse between Ger- 
mans and persons of foreign race will be punished with 
penal servitude for the person of foreign race and 
imprisonment for the German party. Prostitutes do not 
come under this law. 

“ 3. The entry into Germany of persons of foreign race is* 


THE PERSECUTION OF JEWS 283 

only allowed in special circumstances. The settlement in 
Germany of persons of foreign race is prohibited. 
u 4. Changes of name, which in most cases are for the 
sole purpose of concealing the race of the person con- 
cerned, are prohibited until further notice. Changes of 
name made since 1914 are cancelled. 55 

It may be objected that this kind of nonsense has no 
real connection with the mass movement, that these “ race 
hygienists 55 are only on the edge of the movement, which 
cannot be regarded as responsible for them. This suggestion 
is not well founded. A man like Professor Stammler is the 
official adviser on these questions. The “ Bills 55 drafted 
by him were introduced by the National Socialist fraction in 
the Reichstag. They are therefore typical, and must be 
taken seriously as agitation material. 

Liquidation of the Jewish Question. We have given a 
small number of examples out of the mass of incidents in 
the war of extermination which is being waged against 
600,000 German Jews. These documents and facts are 
typical of the artificially nurtured hatred of the Jews, who 
have once more in Europe 5 s history been given the role of 
scapegoats. We have tried to show that, in general, this 
fanaticism is not directed against those who were first made 
the object of hatred : the big bankers, merchants and 
speculators. The “ wrath of the people 55 has once more 
been turned aside, against the lesser fry, against the Jewish 
middle class and the Jewish working class. 

Forced Denials. What action did the Jews in Germany 
take ? They protested against the foreign “ atrocity propa- 
ganda. 55 Under the pressure of the storm troopers they 
sent out into the world documents which were the product 
of mortal fear. Often their fear has made them go further 
than was necessary. No one can blame them. Not every 
man is a born hero. And eventually an enterprising man got 
the idea of publishing these denials which had been forced 



We have already quoted the statement made by the third 
partner in the alliance with Jewish orthodoxy and Jewish 
nationalism : Jewish capitalism — the statement made by 
Oskar Wassermann, Director of the Deutsche Bank und 
Diskontogesellschaft, that he has not suffered the least 
inconvenience and that he has hardly been able to notice 
the change in things. 

Lenin on anti-Semitism. We have not hushed up these 
statements. On the contrary, they seem to us convincing ' 


2 84 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 


from the Jews, in book form, under the title : The Atrocity 
Propaganda. The Government-controlled Berliner Tage- 
blatt devotes two columns to this “ extremely welcome 
book 55 ; but no one in the world will let himself be led to 
believe that it was not written by men in fear of their lives 
and their liberty, and that they were not compelled against 
their better knowledge to spread the lie that there is no 
persecution of Jews in Germany. 

<7 

Jews who support Hitler. There are even Jews who 
support Hitler. In the Jewish Press (Wien, Bratislava, of 
March 31st), the organ of the orthodox Jews, a Rabbi, 
Professor Dr. Weinberg, writes as follows : 


“ In Jewish circles generally, and particularly in orthodox 
circles, there is more sympathy and understanding for 
the national revival in Germany than the leaders of this 
movement realise. The religious Jews know how par- 
ticularly grateful they must be to Hitler for his energetic 
and thoroughgoing fight against Communism.’ 9 


The central organ of German Zionists, the Judische 
Rundschau , adopts the same attitude : 


“ Jewish history will understand even Hitler. It will cite 
him as evidence of the fact that history is made up of the 
imponderables of human endeavour towards an ideal, 
no matter what this may be.” 


THE PERSECUTION OF JEWS 285 

proof that in the last analysis the Jewish question too is not 
a question of race, but a class question. The similar ex- 
perience in Russia under the Tsardom is summarised by 
Lenin as follows : 

“The propagation of hostility against the Jews is 
described as anti-Semitism. When the accursed Tsarist 
monarchy was at its last gasp, it tried to incite the 
ignorant workers and peasants against the Jews. The 
Tsar’s police, in league with the landlords and the 
capitalists, organised pogroms. They tried to deflect 
the hatred of the workers and peasants, crushed down 
by want, from the landlords and exploiters, and turn it 
against the Jews. It has often been the same in other 
countries too the capitalists have roused up hostility 
against the Jews in order to throw dust in the eyes of the 
workers and distract them from the real enemy of the 
toiling people, capital. . . . 

“ It is not the Jews who are the enemy of the toiling 
people. The enemies of the workers are the capitalists 
of every country. There are workers, toilers, among the 
Jews : these form the majority. They are our brothers, 
our comrades in the fight for socialism, because they 
are oppressed by capital. There are kulaks, exploiters, 
capitalists, among the Jews as among all other peoples. 
The capitalists strive to arouse hostility between the 
workers of different religious beliefs, of different nations 
and races. The rich Jews, like the rich Russians and the 
rich people of all countries, all in league with each 
other, trample on, oppress and contaminate the workers. 

“ Shame and contempt upon the accursed Tsarism 
which tortured and persecuted the Jews ! Shame and 
contempt upon those who sow hostility against the Jews 
and hatred against other nations ! ” 


Chapter IX: THE 
CONCENTRATION CAMPS 



On the basis of statements published in the Press the total 
number of political prisoners in Hitler’s Germany at the 
beginning of June 1933 must be put at about sixty to seventy 
thousand. Of this total, between thirty-five and forty 
thousand ipen and women have been taken to concentra- 
tion camps. It goes without saying that there is no legal 
justification for the establishment of concentration camps. 
There are no laws or regulations determining the rights of 
prisoners in concentration camps. Nor is there any law or 
regulation governing the length of their detention in the 
camps. 

“ Till our leader takes pity on them. 5 ’ The Neue puncher 
Zcitung , in an article on the concentration camps in Ger- 
many published on May 8th, 1933, states that the prisoners 
will be divided into two groups — those whom it is easy and 
those whom it is difficult to train as citizens — and that the 
former will be kept in the camps one year, the latter three 
years. But this is merely the personal opinion of the reporter, 
not an official statement. Banishment to the concentration 
camps and also the length of the period of detention are 
entirely determined by the arbitrary will of the Fascist 
chiefs, central and local. Lieutenant Kaufmann, one of the 
Nazi controllers of the concentration camp at Heuberg in 
Baden, put the position very clearly in an interview which 
he gave at the end of April to a reporter of the Danish paper 
Politiken. In reply to the question : €t How long will you 
keep the prisoners here ? ” the Lieutenant replied : “ Till 
our leader takes pity on them.” 

The Deutsche Allgemeine Z etiun g of April 30th, 1933, con- 
firms this statement by Lieutenant Kaufmann in so far as 
it says : “ It will be a long while before many of the * 


* 



THE CONCENTRATION CAMPS 287 

prisoners get their freedom, for the will of the prisoners is 
not easy to break. 55 

« If I even knew why I am here. 35 The men and women 
who have been interned in the concentration camps are 
completely innocent, even within the meaning of the prin- 
ciple of the Fascist State. All Socialist and Communist 
workers and leaders who in the Government's view have 
clone anything against the laws of the Fascist regime are not 
put into the concentration camps, but are locked up in 
prisons and penal settlements and brought before special 
courts and sentenced. The people who are interned in the 
concentration camps are only men and women whose 
political views are regarded by the Fascists as suspect, 
though even the Fascist prosecutors cannot find any pretext 
for a criminal prosecution against them. Most of them were 
arrested immediately after the burning of the Reichstag 
and the elections on March 5th, so that they could not 
conceivably have carried on any activity hostile to the 
Fascist regime. Towards the end of April the Politiken 
published some letters from prisoners in concentration 
camps. One young worker writes : “ If I only knew why 
I am here.” A doctor writes : <c Only anonymous and 
personal revenge can be the reason for my imprisonment. 55 
Another man writes : “ I have nothing to reproach myself 
with. I have no idea why I was arrested. 55 

The trivial things which suffice to bring people into the 
concentration camps are well illustrated by the case of the 
Jewish religious teacher Karl Krebs, who is a citizen of 
Czecho-Slovakia and has been in Germany since he was a 
year old. The following order was issued for his arrest ; 

, “ The Jewish teacher of religion Karl Krebs, of Dinkes- 
biihl, a Czecho-Slovakian subject, is to be arrested. 
On March 29th, 1933, Krebs killed some hens, creating 
great dissatisfaction among the population. Although 
this was not a criminal act, in view of the great excite- 
f ment' among the population in connection with the 


288 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

atrocity campaign of the Jews abroad, Krebs should 
not have carried out such an act. The excitement among 
the population is so great that Krebs must be put under 
arrest in order to protect him from attacks. The order 
for his protective arrest is issued in agreement with the 
Commissioner Burgomaster Ittameyer in Wassertriid- 
ingen. 

Dinkelsbiihl, March 29th, 1933. 

Krebs is still in prison. 

What the. concentration camps are for. Captain Buck, 
Nazi chief of the Heuberg concentration camp, told the 
reporter of the Politiken that the purpose of the concentra- 
tion camps was “ to punish the prisoners. 55 In some of 
the camps, as prisoners who have been released report, the 
prisoners have to register as “ Convict 55 X. In accordance 
with the regulations for penal settlements, their heads have 
even been shaved. The London Rally Telegraph of 4 April 
27th, 1933, confirms this, in a cable from its Vienna corres- 
pondent R. G. Geyde. The “ convicts 55 have not seen a 
judge and will not see one. The National Socialist leaders 
have repeatedly stated that internment in the concentration 
camps is a purely administrative measure, that it is a 
question of protective detention. The Nazis told the 
Politiken correspondent : “ We have had to intern many of 
these individuals in order to protect them from the venge- 
ance of the people. They would have been lynched by the 
patriotic mob, who regard these c criminals 5 as the 
instigators of the November revolution. 55 

This statement is an outright lie. The extraordinarily 
strict watch on the camps is not for the sake of protecting 
the interned Socialists and Communists. The machine guns 
in front of the camps are to make any attempts at flight or 
rescue impossible. Wherever there have been so-called 
demonstrations against arrested persons, the tumult and 
rioting has been organised by the Fascists. The transfer of 
the former Social Democratic Minister Remmele to a con- 
centration camp, which was organised as a great popular 



Herr Kuhnt, the former Premier of Oldenburg and Social Democratic Member of the Reichstag, wa 
arrested by storm troops in Chemnitz on March 9th, I933> an< ^ taken in triumph through the town. 


290 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

entertainment, shows this clearly. The Volkischer Beobachter 

of May 17th 1933 published the following report, headed 

" In the Pillory. 55 

u On Tuesday the former State president and Minister, 
Dr. Adam Remmele, recently president of the German 
Consumers’ Purchasing Co-operative Society in Ham- 
burg, who a few days ago was brought from there to 
Karlsruhe at the request of the Government, was taken 
in an open police car from the prison at the western 
end of the town to the office of the chief of police. With 
Remmele were also Stenz, whom he had placed in the 
Ministry of the Interior, the former Baden councillor 
and member of the Reichstag, Marum, the editor of the 
Karlsruhe Social Democratic paper Volksfreund> Grixne- 
baum, the former police commissioner, Furrer, and the 
Baden leaders of the Reichsbanner and the Iron Front 
as well as other members of the fecial Democratic party. 
From the police headquarters they were then taken to 
the penal settlement at Kieslau, now a concentration 
camp. A gigantic crowd had assembled outside the 
prison, and greeted the prisoners with jeers and catcalls. 
A double row of Nazi protective corps men marched 
with linked arms in front of the first police car, on which 
the prisoners were seated bare-headed, to clear the 
street. A second police car followed the first, filled with 
storm troopers. The procession was also flanked by 
storm troopers, and others brought up the rear. The 
police cars drove quite slowly through a double wall of 
onlookers, often eight deep. Catcalls and abuse greeted 
the prisoners all the way along the streets. The song of 
the miller was also sung everywhere, by way of mocking 
Remmele, who had once been a miller’s labourer and 
had forbidden the singing of this song in Baden. The 
procession passed in front of the Diet buildings and the 
Government offices, as well as the former trade union 
building, at each of which a short halt was made. Along 
the way bands also played the song of the miller. The 


THE CONCENTRATION CAMPS 


291 

concourse was so immense that the whole of the tram- 
way and motor traffic was stopped. A number of 
persons who shouted c Red Front ! * were arrested on 
the spot and taken along in the second police car. 55 

The report shows clearly that this was an organised 
demonstration with carefully prepared shouting — in short, 
that it was one of those spectacles which the Reich Minister 
j of Propaganda, Goebbels, uses to»entertain the crowd and 
I to make it for a while forget its hunger. 

I ... ' 1 

“ Protective arrest.” Protective detention in Germany 
is strictly governed by the law of 1849 on the restriction 
of personal freedom. By this law only persons who are 
themselves threatened may be taken into protective arrest. 
This must not be continued longer than is necessary for the 
purpose, and in no case longer than three months. The law 
provides for the lodging of appeals and a decision by the 
courts. But all those who are now imprisoned were arrested 
not in their own interest but to protect the new rulers. They 
are being kept longer than three months. And they have no 
right to appeal. 

Forty-Five Concentration Camps. How many concen- 
tration camps are there, and how many people are detained 
in them ? The German Government, probably with good 
reason, avoids giving any exact information. On the basis of 
a few reports in the German Press, occasional statements by 
Nazi leaders and visits of foreign journalists, it is possible 
to draw the conclusion that early in July 1933 there were 
forty-five concentration camps with between 35,000 and 
* 40,000 prisoners. The following are some of the camps : 

Dachau, near Munich, Bavaria . . 5,000 prisoners 

Heuberg, Upper Baden . . . . 2,000 „ 

Kieslau, near Bruchsal, Baden . . 100 „ 

Rastatt, Baden . . .. .. 300 „ 

v • Bad Durrheim, Baden . . .. 500 „ 



292 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 


Pfalz 

2,000 prisoners 

Muhlheim, Rhine 

2,000 

55 

Hohenstein, Saxony 

800 

55 

Ortenstein, Zwickau, Saxony 

200 

55 

Zittau, Saxony 

300 

55 

Ohrdruf, Thuringia 

1,200 

55 

Oranienburg, near Berlin 

i, 5 00 

55 

Sonnenburg (Prussia) 

Sennelager, Paderbern (900 men, 

414 

35 

30 women) 

930 

55 

Esterwegen, Westphalia 

5 °° 

55 

Wilsede, Liineberger Heide 

2,000 

55 

Konigstein, Saxony 

200 

55 


A concentration camp at Papenburg, Emsland, has been 
equipped for 4,000 prisoners. 

Other camps are at : Ginsheim and Rodelhein?, near 
Frankfurt ; Langen and Osthofen, in Hessen ; Gassel ; Fuhls- 
biittel and Wittmoor, near Hamburg ; Bremen ; Braunsch- 
weig ; Grundau, near Konigsberg, also another in East 
Prussia ; Schleswig ; Pommerania ; Breslau ; there are six 
camps in Brandenburg province, five in the Ruhr area, and 
a number in central Germany. The number of prisoners in 
these camps is not known. 

In the middle of May the Government decided to open 
ten new concentration camps. The Frankfurter Zeitung of 
May 30th, 1933, reports that a second concentration camp 
will be opened at Heuberg for such prisoners as are not to 
be released before the winter. 

Women and Intellectuals in the Camps. There are 
hundreds of women among the prisoners in the concentra- 
tion camps. The Communist women members of the Reich- 
stag and of the State Diets, in so far as they were found, 
were first taken to the women’s prison in the Barnimstrasse 
in Berlin, before they were taken to the concentration camp. 
This prison has been organised as a collecting and tranftt 



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294 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

station for arrested women. Early in June a special con- 
centration camp for women was organised in South Ger- 
many. An official announcement dated June 8th, 1933, 
states : u A detention camp for women has been organised 
at Gotteszell, near Gemund in Wurttemburg.” A second 
concentration camp for women was opened in Saxony a 
few days later. All reports agree that the women in the 
prisons and concentration camps are being subjected to 
exceptionally bad treatment and persecution. 

All kinds of views and professions and ages are represented 
among fhe prisoners in the concentration camps : Com- 
munists, Anarchists, Social Democrats, adherents of the 
Centre Party, pacifists, Jews ; young and old people, 
workers, intellectuals, artists, students, members of Parlia- 
mentary bodies, lawyers, doctors, writers, tradesmen ; well- 
known names and unknown names ; Martin Buber, the 
grey-haired Zionist poet ; Karl von Ossietzky, the revolu- 
tionary pacifist editor of the Weltbiihne ; the anarchist^ Erich 
Miihsam ; the Bavarian Member of Parliament, Auer ; the 
democratic Member of the Reichstag, Fischer ; the Social 
Democrat Members of the Reichstag Rossmann and 
Pfluger ; the barrister Hans Litten ; the doctors, Schminke 
and Boenheim ; and many others of similar standing. 

The Truth breaks through. The Hitler Government 
has done its best to conceal the conditions in the concentra- 
tion camps. The Committee for the Victims of Fascism has 
nevertheless succeeded in obtaining from prisoners who 
have succeeded in getting away, and from the relatives of 
prisoners, a considerable amount of material which throws 
light on the terrible condition of the prisoners in the con- 
centration camps. 

In spite of the Nazi guards and barbed wire the truth 
has broken through to the outside world. Foreign journalists 
have been allowed to see some of the “ model ” camps, such 
as those of Heuberg, Dachau and Oranienburg. Nazi storm 
troopers accompanied the press representatives every- 
where ; there was no opportunity of separate conversation 


THE CONCENTRATION CAMPS 


with any of the prisoners. The descriptions given by these 
correspondents are therefore general impressions of the 
arrangement of the camps rather than observations of 
actual conditions. But where the journalists were able, even 
though in a very restricted way, to describe the objective 
conditions — or where, as in the case of Edmund Taylor of 
the Chicago Daily Tribune , they were able to put a few ques- 
tions to prisoners in a foreign language — the truth also 
comes to light in the newspaper, reports. 

Anyone who wants to help to get the truth about the 
German concentration camps must support the demand for 
an international commission of members of all the Relief 
Committees to have the right to visit every camp — not 
under the control of the commandants of the camps and 
of Nazi guards, but to make their visits without warning, 
with the right to investigate conditions in every detail and 
to talk to every prisoner without interference. 

The? convict prisons ot Sonnenburg and Fuhlsbiittel were 
closed down some years ago because they were buildings 
belonging to the Middle Ages and were absolutely un- 
hygienic from a modern standpoint. Even habitual 
criminals were no longer sent there. In Fuhlbuttel there 
are no closets and no drains. Detention in this prison is 
acute torture, particularly in the hot part of the year. But 
these are the prisons which the Hitler Government has now 
established as concentration camps. Among the prisoners 
at Sonnenburg are Litten, Kasper, Ossietzky and Muhsam. 

The concentration camp at Zittau was formerly a book- 
shop, so that the comforts of this “ camp 59 can be imagined. 
The concentration camp at Dachau, according to a report 
in the Daily Telegraph of April 25th, 1933, consists of old 
half-decayed huts. Oranienburg is the model camp which 
has been shown to a number of foreign journalists, and of 
which the Nazis have broadcast photographs. “ An 
abandoned factory, formerly a brewery : the works have 
fallen into ruin, the windows are simply broken glass, the 
yard is covered with grass and weeds. 55 This is how the 
Deutsche Allgemeine fyitung of April 30th, 1933, describes 


296 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

Oranienburg. We are in possession of a confidential report 
from a German woman journalist who accompanied a 
foreign correspondent as interpreter when he visited the 
camp at Oranienburg : 

“ Only one single pump in the courtyard. The prisoners, 
of whom there are between 100 and 200, have to wash in 
five old wash-basins which stand in the courtyard. The 
rooms where they sleep are old workshops which are in 
ruins ; a few inches of dirty straw cover the cement 
floor.” 

The Deutsche Allgemeine fyitung of April 30th, 1933, con- 
firms that the prisoners have to sleep on straw. 

In Dachau, according to the description given by Geyde 
in the Daily Telegraph of April 25th, 1933, 54 prisoners sleep 
in a small hut on rough wooden boards covered with straw. 

The interpreter who has already been mentioned de- 
scribes the appalling conditions in such a dormitory at 
Oranienburg : 

cc Already by evening, when the prisoners are locked in, 
the place stinks as if a herd of wild animals had spent 
the night there. But it is impossible to describe the air 
after it has been slept in by 50 or more men whose 
clothes are unwashed and whose sweating bodies fill 
the room with vapour.” 

The Model Camp at Heuberg. The concentration 
camp at Heuberg is the show place among the camps. It is 
exhibited to all foreign reporters, who for the most part 
describe the external appearance of the camp and its 
environment but do not deal with the internal rooms and 
dormitories. At the end of May the Frankfurter fitting 
published a detailed report on a visit to the Heuberg camp, 
which testifies to the extremely close guard kept on the 
prisoners and the military drill imposed on them. The 
young Nazis are forbidden to enter into conversation wit?x 


THE CONCENTRATION CAMPS 297 

the prisoners, owing to the fear that they might be in- 
fluenced politically. The report runs : 

ct The old parade ground is now used as a concentration 
camp. Going in through a lattice fence, we could see the 
whole camp spread out before us. First there are the 
offices, a post office and the officials’ quarters with little 
gardens, then left and right the former quarters of the 
Reichswehr soldiers. Here, ,at a height of 2,700 feet, 
where there is little green to be seen, 2,000 prisoners 
are herded together in small rooms. 

“ The houses are shut in by iron railings. Tall barbed 
wire fences run round the buildings in a double line, 
so that there is a space between. The concentration 
camp is divided into sections. The storm troopers are 
on guard, with rifles, by the iron railings. Both sides of 
the barbed wire fences are guarded by auxiliary police. 
The windows are empty : it is forbidden to look out. At 
night search-lights play on the sides of the building. 
Each building is divided into two sections, A and B ; 
there is one latrine between them in the courtyard. 
s< Left and right of the staircase on each floor are large 
rooms, and between them the former sergeant-major’s 
room, now labelled 6 control officers. 5 There are three of 
these : one storm troop officer for each of the large 
rooms, and a police sergeant who maintains contact 
with the police officer in charge. 
u At the entrance to the prisoners’ room there is a register, 
containing the names of the 36 prisoners. Name, place 
of birth, address. The storm troop officer pulls out his 
key. We hear c look out 1 ’ shouted inside, and the voices 
in the room are silent. Chairs are pushed back. The 
prisoners rise to their feet when the control officer enters. 
6£ The prisoners sit on little stools at long smooth tables, 
playing chess. They have made the pieces themselves. 
There are practically no papers or books to be seen ; 
each room is provided with one newspaper, which is 
% usually read aloud by someone. There are small square 


m 


298 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

cupboards along the wall, in which eating utensils are 
kept. 

“ While the young Nazi auxiliary police, all of whom come 
from the countryside, are forbidden to have any dealings 
with the prisoners, the Nazi officers are charged with 
the duty of bringing their political influence to bear on 
the prisoners in the room under their control. 

“ Correspondence is controlled by the officials. Each pris- 
oner can write a letter orcard once a fortnight. The officer 
in charge has to determine from these letters, the general 
conduct of the prisoners, and official and private con- 
versations with them, which of the prisoners shows any 
prospect of changing their political views. 55 

We can supplement this report with information given us 
in a letter from the Heuberg camp. The writer’s name can- 
not be disclosed, for the reason that he is still in the camp. 

o Q 

“ There are 2,000 comrades in Heuberg, most of them 
Gommunists. They are kept in seven or eight two-storey 
buildings. Each double block and single block are 
separated off by barbed wire fences two metres high. 
In rooms 12 metres by 8, thirty men are housed ; in 
the top rooms four to twelve men according to the size 
of the rooms. The beds, in two tiers, consist of a straw 
sack and 2 blankets. There are no baths. (The reporter 
of De Telegraaf. \ the Amsterdam paper, says in a report 
of April 5th that the prisoners get a bath once a month. 
Evidently this does not apply to all prisoners. — The 
Editors.) Soap is not provided ; anyone who wants it ’ 
must buy it. Linen is not provided, and there is no 
washing. Towels are in short supply : one between two 
prisoners. Open razors are forbidden. Shaving is diffi- 
cult, so beards are becoming the latest achievement of 
the German awakening. . . ” 

Captain Buck, who is in control of the camp, told the 
Politiken reporter that Heuberg is not a sanatorium, either* 


THE CONCENTRATION GAMPS 


299 






in comfort or in hygiene. He is right. These camps are 
breeding grounds of disease, and but few will leave them 
sound. 

The Guards round the Camp. The prisoners in the 
camps are kept under extraordinarily strict control. Nazi 
storm troopers are patrolling everywhere, armed with 
rubber truncheons, rifles and revolvers. Many of the patrols 
are accompanied by police dogs ; the official photographs 
show this. It is confirmed by the Politiken , the Telegraaf and 
the Daily Telegraph , and by every prisoner’s letter. In the 
Daily Telegraph of April 127th, 1933, Geyde reports that the 
concentration camp at Dachau is surrounded by a high 
wire fence which is charged with high voltage electricity. 
Machine guns are kept ready at the main posts. The corre- 
spondents of the Telegraaf and Politiken were struck by the 
mass of barbed wire and railings from which escape was 
impossible. At night *he camp is lighted up by gigantic 
searchlights ; the light prevents the prisoners from sleeping. 

The Telegraaf of April 5th, 1933, says : 44 If anyone opens 
a window to get a breath of air, he is shot at.” 

The camp at Oranienburg has low factory walls on one 
side, and on the other, where the prisoners take exercise, 
quite low shrubbery. Do none of the prisoners try to get 
away ? The journalist who visited the camp with a foreign 
correspondent put this question. 

The reply : 44 There is no danger of flight here. The 
guards are armed and have strict instructions to shoot 
at once if any of the prisoners cross the boundary 
marked by the bushes. Besides, why should they try to 
get away ? Things are all right for them here. Even 
when they are allowed to go they don’t want to.” 

The questioner : 44 But that is impossible ? ” 

The reply : 44 The day before yesterday we received in- 
structions to set one man free. He would not go, and 
had to be taken to the station by force. Ask the others 
1 whether this is so or not.” 




300 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

The journalist continues her report : 

“ It is a fact that there have been cases of prisoners 
not wanting their liberty. But why ? The orders for 
release come as a rule at night or at a very early hour 
of the morning. At that time it is easier to shoot a 
prisoner on the way, and then the following day the 
papers report ; Marxist shot when trying to escape/ 5 

In fact, these low bushes are meant to tempt prisoners to 
flight ; but flight means death. 

Grouping of Prisoners. The arbitrary decisions which 
have brought the concentration camps into being have also 
divided the. prisoners into three categories : 

A. Easily reformable (German Nationals, Bavarian 

Guards, and political followers). r> 

B. Not easily reformable. 

G. Unreformable. 

Communist leaders and officials and intellectuals of Left 
views are put in the last category, and the worst treatment 
is meted out to them. In the report on the Heuberg camp 
which has already been quoted this fact is confirmed : 

“ Prisoners who on the basis of documents and reports 
are classed as unreformable are put into the “ old 
building, 55 numbers 19 and 23. There everything is 
much stricter. The controlling officer does not have 
any conversation with them. The time allowed for exer- 
cise is restricted to ten minutes. Permission to smoke 
and talk is given less frequently ; and they are not 
allowed to work, which with the other prisoners gives 
the opportunity for a few hours of physical activity and 
entitles them to extra food. 55 

The commandants of the camps compete with each 
other in inventing more and more ingenious punishments/ 


THE CONCENTRATION CAMPS 


301 

Prisoners have their free time shortened. Permission to write 
letters is granted less often or taken away altogether. They 
are not permitted to have visitors for a long period. They 
are forbidden to take part in the general conversation dur- 
ing their free time. They are isolated and particularly 
sharply controlled. They are forbidden to smoke. They are 
given long periods of arrest with only ten minutes exercise, 
or are confined in a dark room. Disciplinary punishments 
which are frequently used art : additional exercise, con- 
tinued for several hours, drilling, longer work hours, and 
particularly unaccustomed and irritating wo^k. In some 
of the concentration camps prisoners against whom the 
Nazis have a particular grudge have even been kept in 
chains. 

According to the Daily Telegraph report of April 27th, 
1933, refractory prisoners, for example at Dachau, are not 
allowed out of the tiny huts and may not go into the open 
air. * 

The report of the woman journalist already referred to 
describes a cell in the Oranienburg camp, in which <e not 
easily reformable ” prisoners are kept. 

<e A hole in the wall, shut in by an iron door, and without 
any other ventilation but the door. We were shown one 
of these rooms empty. But this was an hour after we had 
begun to inspect the camp, so that evidently the 
prisoners had first been taken out. Then of the 120 
prisoners in the camp 30 were missing. Were they per- 
haps behind that iron door, which we were not allowed 
to examine more closely ? 55 

At Heuberg an elderly lawyer complained of the bad 
food. For making this complaint he was condemned to sleep 
15 nights on the roof of the barracks without any shelter. 

Captain Buck however assured the Telegraaf reporter 
(April 5th, 1933) that there were no detention cells in the 
Heuberg camp. 






302 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

Manhandled and Beaten. All reports are unanimous on 
the fact that the “unimprovable” prisoners are being treated 
in such a way that their physical ruin is inevitable. The aim 
is the physical extermination of the organisers of the German 
working class. Captain Buck assured the representative of the 
Politiken that no one was mishandled in the concentration 
camps. “ No blows, no punishments,” he asserted. But the 
Government’s Press itself indicates that this is not true. The 
Angrijf of April ist writes : ~ 

“ A Reichsbanner man was interrogated ... he gave an 
insolent reply. However, a friendly but pointed look at 
his own rubber truncheon sufficed to bring home to 
him the seriousness of the position.” 

The maltreatment that must go on in this camp if a 
glance at a rubber truncheon is enough to bring home to a 
prisoner “ the seriousness of the position ” is confirmed by 
the Deutsche Allgemeine £eitung of April 30th, 1933 : 

“For it was only by laying hold of them and carrying 
through the interrogation with merciless severity that 
we have succeeded in discovering the underground 
terror almost to its full extent . . . but the resistance of 
individual prisoners has still to be broken.” 

This report confirms that torture is used in the interroga- 
tions. We have a report of the correspondent of the Chicago 
Daily Tribune , Edmund Taylor. He managed to speak in 
English and French with some of the prisoners in the Heu- 
berg camp, so that the storm troopers accompanying him 
did not know what was said. Many of the prisoners expressly 
stated that in that camp severe mishandling was a frequent 
occurrence. 

Similar reports come from the Schloss Ortenstein camp 
near Zwickau. Visitors to this camp have declared bn oath 
that they saw bleeding weals and green and blue patches 
on the arms and hands of prisoners. There can be no doubt 


THE CONCENTRATION CAMPS 


r 


whatever that these are the result of maltreatment. The 
mishandling was particularly severe when the storm 
troopers were in charge of the prisoners ; when they were 
replaced by police, the position became more bearable. But 
the storm troopers have been put into the Ortenstein camp 
again since the beginning of May. 


k 

r 


The Hell of Sonnenburg. The concentration camp at 
Sonnenburg must be dealt with separately. Letters and 
reports from prisoners, and even official statements, show f 

beyond doubt that Sonnenburg is a real torture chamber. 
Working-class leaders and intellectuals are subjected to the 
most disgraceful maltreatment. Throughout Germany the 
camp is known as 4 the Sonnenburg hell. 5 A letter from a 
worker who escaped from Sonnenburg gives a terrible des- 
cription of the conditions there : 




“ The first batches %£ prisoners were met at Sonnenburg 
station by storm troop detachments and police. They 
were compelled to sing and were literally beaten to the 
camp. The inhabitants of Sonnenburg can testify to 
this. When they arrived at the camp, the prisoners were 
compelled to stand in the courtyard in streaming rain. 
Then the first ones were taken to the rooms. Each had to 
fetch straw for himself from another floor. Storm 
troopers were standing on the stairs, and they beat the 
prisoners mercilessly with their rubber truncheons. 
Some were made to empty the closet pails of the Nazis, 
in the course of which they were again brutally mis- 
handled. One storm trooper held a prisoner’s head 
between his legs, while another storm trooper beat him. 
The comrades were compelled to count the blows in a 
loud voice. Some of the prisoners received as many as 
185 blows. In addition they were kicked and otherwise 
manhandled. Those treated worst were comrades 
Litten, Wiener, Bernstein, Kasper, Schneller and the 
Jewish prisoners. Our old friend Muhsam suffered 
1 terribly. Now things are a little different, but instead 



304 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

we have extremely severe military drill, worse than when 
I was a recruit. Most of the time we have to be exercising 
outside, marching and singing, 

44 The first three weeks were the worst. In the single cells 
we were attacked in the night and terribly beaten. The 
backs of many comrades were quite black. I don’t know 
whether Litten will get through with his life. The wives 
of several of the Sonnenburg prisoners raised such sharp 
protests that Mittelbaeh, of the public prosecutor’s 
department, was sent to Sonnenburg to investigate ; 
Litten begged him to have him shot, as he could no 
longer bear the brutal mishandling that was being 
inflicted on him.” 

The Sonnenburger Anzeiger of April 7th, 1 933, reported : 

44 The prisoners had to march from the station to the 
former convict prison singing the national hymns.- the 
rubber truncheons of the Berlin\uxiliary police often 
helping them along.” 

This account by one of the Sonnenburg prisoners is 
confirmed by letters from Frau Muhsam and Frau Kasper, 
who visited their husbands in Sonnenburg. Frau Muhsam 
writes : 

44 They have beaten our husbands to the point of death. 
Erich — I saw him, and I did not recognise him, Therese, 

I did not recognise him among the others ! How they 
have been beaten ! They have cut off his beard and 
knocked out his teeth. They made him carry his trunk. 
... He fell down on the road. Then the beasts beat him 
terribly as he lay on the road and could not get up. 
When I reached Sonnenburg, there he was sitting, com- 
pletely broken, and he was horrified that I had come. 
His first words were 4 How can you have come to this 
hell ? You won’t get out alive ! They will kill you, 
because you have seen us and how we have been mis- 
handled l ’ When I saw Kasper, I had to keep control of r 


THE CONCENTRATION CAMPS 


myself not to faint. It was all the more ghastly as I had l 

seen him three days before. He was standing leaning * t' 
against the wall, his face white and absolutely mutilated. i 

There was blood running down from one eye, which was 
quite blue, to his mouth. His mouth was black and 
swollen as if someone had stamped on his face. He could ! 

hardly speak or move with the pains he had all over his 1 

body.” gi 

4» f f.'\ 

The wives of the political prisoners Bernstein and Geisler 
succeeded in forcing the control authorities to grant them a 
permit to visit Sonnenburg. Frau Bernstein writes : 

“ I felt as if it was a stranger in front of me. His eyes and -■ ; 

the skin round them were blood-red and badly swollen. 

Across his face there were broad weals from blows with I 

rubber truncheons. I was not allowed to get close to him, : ] 

but his whole body must be battered ; during the whole 
time he stayed quite still in a strange position. ” j 

Frau Geisler writes : ;ij: 

' , i I 

“ When I saw my husband he was so changed, and his I 

face was so terribly swollen, that I had to keep myself | 

in hand not to scream with horror.” 



A prisoner who succeeded in escaping from Sonnenburg 
and getting over the German frontier reports : 

“ There are 414 political prisoners in Sonnenburg, among 
them Carl von Ossietzky, who was arrested on February 
28th. One of his fellow prisoners, who was thir teen days 
in Sonnenburg and now has been able to get across the 
frontier, saw Ossietzky in the hospital ward. Bent double, 
sunken features, his face yellow, his hands moving 
nervously, shambling gait— that is his description of 
Ossietzky. The other Sonnenburg prisoners : Dr. 

’ Wiener, whose whole body had been beaten black and 


1 



306 brown book of the hitler terror 

blue ; the Communist Bernstein, whose kidneys have 
been injured by blows and who can now only walk with 
a crutch ; Erich Muhsam, who with Kasper were forced 
to dig a grave for themselves, being told that they were 
to be shot the following morning. . . . One night they 
broke the window of Kasper’s cell and pushed a 
revolver through, threatening to shoot him. Then they 
rushed into his cell and beat him with rubber truncheons. 

The daily programme in Sonnenburg is : 

5.15 a.m. Get up, empty the closets (there are no drains 
in Sonnenburg), clean the cells, wash, exercise, etc. 
8.30 a.m. Breakfast. 

9-10. Military drill ; singing of Hitler songs. 

10.30- 12. Rest and dinner. 

12.30- 5.30 p.m. Military drill and gymnastics. 

6 p.m. Supper. 

6.30- 7.30. Exercise. 

7.30- 8.30. Free time, prisoners all together.” 

The mishandling in the Sonnenburg camp was so in- 
human that the new police commander of the camp 
appointed on April 1 1 th felt compelled to make a report on 
it to his superior officer. He received orders from above to 
destroy the copy of this letter. Most of the pieces of this 
torn-up copy have come into our hands. 

Sonnenburg , 
18 May, 1933. 

Concerning certain occurrences since I took over the prison on 

“On taking up my post on the 1 1.4.33 I ascertained 
that no order was maintained in this prison, especially 
by the storm troop men. Irregularities in the main 
concerned : 

“ 1 . Treatment of prisoners by the storm troopmen. % 


THE CONCENTRATION CAMPS 307 jj 

“ 2. Attitude of storm troopers to the administration 
officials. * f 

“3. Conduct of storm troopers among themselves. 

“ 4. Conduct of storm troopers in public. 

“ 5. The situation with regard to pay of the storm troopers. : ^ 

“ In regard to point i : a section of the prisoners, especi- 
ally the prominent ones, wer.e extremely severely mis- / , 

handled by members of the storm troops. To put a stop 
to this mishandling, the injured prisoners have been 
kept under control of (word missing) officers. I threat- 
ened the storm troop men that if (missing) were re- 
peated, I would have the storm troopers kept under 
strict control day and night to put a stop to the (missing) 
on prisoners. In spite of this I have established two 
instances of prisons being struck. In view of the way 
the storm troopers support each other, especially in 
connection with such incidents, the investigations I set i 

on foot proved fruitless. I have therefore threatened the 
storm troopers that the slightest incident of this sort j 

again will lead to my dismissing the guards on duty at 
the time, that is, the whole of the storm troop. 

u In regard to point 2 : there is continuous conflict be- H 

tween the storm troop men and the administration ; 

officials on the question of pay. In spite of reasonable 
advances against pay the storm troop men feel that | 

they are being prejudiced, and they hold police inspector ( 

Pelz to blame. Their attitude to police inspector Pelz j' 

was carried so far that only my personal intervention I 

brought them to reason. When the storm troopers were * 
withdrawn on 24.4.1933 I had to place an armed police 
guard at Pelz’s house to prevent any violence. In regard 
to point 3 : there were frequent conflicts among the 
storm troop men, generally over trivialities . . : 

(Here the report breaks off). ’ 





1 


308 brown book of the hitler terror 

Compulsory Labour. The National Socialist minister 
Frick stated that the prisoners in the concentration camps 
were to be trained to become useful citizens. In fact, the 
work that they are forced to do is absolutely useless. 
A neutral visitor to the Oranienburg camp describes what 
he saw as follows : 

“ The work — if we can call it work — is the most pointless 
labour, both for prisoners and warders, that it is possible 
to imagine. Three young workers were driving six of 
their fellow-unemployed to pull grass out of the ground 
as quickly as possible. . . . Behind the factory building 
water is being splashed about. Some dozens of men are 
busy trying to clean the old building. ... It is even worse 
where the wood is being cleared. The trees have already 
been removed. The prisoners, under heavy guard, are 
trying to dig out the gigantic roots with their fingers. 
Storm Troop men drive on workers who are old enough 
to be their grandfathers : e Old sow ! 5 4 Red swine ! 5 
and so forth. ....** 


Compulsory Drill. After the compulsory labour comes 
compulsory drill. According to official statements, the 
time from 1,30 to 5.30 p.m. is allotted to drill. This is severe 
military drill and military exercises of an extremely ex- 
hausting character, which the prisoners are compelled to 
carry out for hours at a time. 

And so for days, weeks and months the same futile work, 
the same futile and exhausting drill has to be carried out, on 
food which is entirely inadequate. Ordinary prisoners can 
at least count the days to their release, but the prisoners in 
concentration camps have no idea when they will be set 
free. The barbarous treatment the prisoners receive, the 
exhausting work and drill, the low diet, and the hopeless- 
ness of their position has driven many to suicide. The 
Politiken correspondent who visited the Heuberg camp 
early in April 1933 reported that : * 


THE CONGE N.TRATION CAMPS 


309 

<e Captain Buck answered my question quite willingly. 
He admitted that attempts at suicide are not infre- 
quent at this camp. 55 

But there are also repeated cases which are officially 
reported as “ shot while trying to escape. 55 The falsity of 
such reports is obvious : the camps are most closely guarded, 
with armed patrols, police dogs, and searchlights at night. 
The prisoner must realise the hopelessness of any attempt to 
escape ; and for that reason there are few real attempts to 
escape from the camps. The murders in the camp, however, 
are systematically reported as “ shot while' trying to 
escape. 55 

Dachau : The Murder Camp. Fourteen cases of murder 
in the Dachau camp, near Munich, became known in the 
course of a few weeks. 

121 the middle of, April the official Wolff Telegraph 
Bureau reported : 

fifi Munich, April 14 (WTB.). In the Dachau concentra- 
tion camp, near Munich, Communists made an attempt 
to escape. The Storm Troop police found themselves 
compelled to use their guns. They brought down four 
Communists, of whom three were killed on the spot, 
and one was mortally wounded. 55 

According to the Daily Telegraph of April 27th, 1933, the 
commandant of the Dachau camp confirmed this report to 
the English journalist Geyde. The names were not stated in 
the official announcement. The victims were described as 
Communists. But it soon became known that they were not 
Communists, but middle class Jews. A prisoner who was in 
the Dachau camp describes the murder as follows : 

“ A few days ago we were going out as usual to work. All 
of a sudden the Jewish prisoners — Goldmann, a mer- 
chant, Benario, a lawyer from Nurnberg, and the 
y merchants, Artur and Erwin Kahn — were ordered to 


. 


! 

t 



310 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

fall out of the ranks. Without even a word, some Storm 
Troop men shot at them ; they had not made any 
attempt to escape. All were killed on the spot. All had 
bullet wounds in their foreheads. They were buried 
secretly, no one being allowed to be present. Then 
a meeting was called, and a Storm Troop leader made 
a speech in which he told us that it was a good thing 
these four Jewish sows were dead. They had been 
hostile elements who h^d no right to live in Germany ; 
they had received their due punishment. 35 

We have particulars of thirteen similar murders at 
Dachau. 

Two of the most brutal cases were the murder of the 
Communist members of the Diet, Dressel and Goetz ; the 
former was tortured to death, and the latter was shot after 
weeks of brutal maltreatment. 

Tens of Thousands in Prison. The thirty-five to forty 
thousand prisoners in the concentration camps are not the 
only political prisoners in Germany ; in addition, there are 
the prisoners awaiting trial and those who have been sen- 
tenced to imprisonment and penal servitude. Their number 
is growing every day. Every day the Press announces new 
mass arrests. In the second half of June the number of new 
arrests was higher than in any previous period. Sometimes 
a thousand arrests are made in a day. Thus for example in 
Seftenberg, a small town in the Niederlausitzer coalfield, 267 
social democrats have been arrested ; in Bremen over 80 ; 
and several hundreds in Braunschweig, Hamburg, Saxony, 
Berlin and Stuttgart, all on one day only. 

The total number of prisoners awaiting trial or already 
serving sentences can only be guessed at ; it is certainly not 
less than twelve to fifteen thousand. 

The prisoners awaiting trial are herded together in over- 
crowded prisons, sometimes four or five in a cell intended 
for a single prisoner. Many of the prisoners have no 
bedding of any kind. 



THE CONCENTRATION CAMPS 3II 

Among those awaiting trial are many well-known officials 
of the Communist and Social Democratic Parties, as well as 
members of the Democratic Party, the People’s Party, the 
Centre Party and even the German Nationalist Party. 
Ernst Thaelmann, leader of the German Communist 
Party, was arrested on March 3rd in Charlottenburg and 
put in prison. In all the Government papers and the Press 
which had been “ brought into conformity 99 it was re- 
ported that he had been arrested in connection with the 
Reichstag fire. 


The Arrests. It will be difficult for people in other 
countries to realise the arbitrary methods used by the 
police and Storm Troops in making arrests. One day an 
illegal leaflet is seen in a street ; it is reported by a police- 
man or an adherent of the Nazis. Police motors imme- 
diately rush up, the whole district is cordoned off, all 
houses are searched ffom attic to cellar, books and type- 
writers are seized, and often completely innocent citizens 
are carried off. Any obstruction is immediately met with 
violence and arrest. Every day the papers report such raids 
and mass arrests. Early in July the Hitler Government began 
to seize as hostages the relatives of workers who had 
escaped. The best known case is the arrest of five relatives of 
Scheidemann ; but this is only one case among many. 

The Sentences. The public prosecutors have been busy 
since February 27 th. Special courts have been instituted in 
practically every German town. Denunciations bring 
a continuous stream of prisoners ; and the charges are as 
arbitrary as the sentences. Often prisoners are kept for weeks 
in prison and then set free without even being tried. But 
even after being set free they are continuously menaced 
with further arrest, and in many cases have to report daily 
to the police. 

The following are some examples of the nature of the 
1 charges and the heavy sentences passed : 


312 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

“ The special court of Moabit, Berlin, sentenced the unem- 
ployed workers Max Ziegler and Richard Schroter to 

15 months and 18 months imprisonment respectively, 
because Ziegler, a member of the Communist Party, 
had distributed in East Berlin illegally produced copies 
of the Rote Fahne which he had received from Schroter. 59 
64 The Darmstadt special court sentenced a female 
member of the Young Communist League to 8 months, 
and a male member tp 5 months imprisonment, for 
producing and distributing a leaflet. The prisoners are 

16 years of age. 55 

There are innumerable sentences for spreading 44 atro- 
city stories." Often the relatives of arrested persons are told 
that they cannot expect the case to be heard for several 
weeks, owing to the number of cases awaiting trial. The 
relatives can seldom find a lawyer prepared to undertake 
the defence. The position of the prisoners is made worse by 
the fact that the Hitler Government has prohibited the 
44 Red Aid 59 organisation, which used to help the families 
of political prisoners. But it still carries on its work, with the 
help of similar organisations in other countries and the 
44 Committees for the Relief of the Victims of German 
Fascism 95 which have been set up on the initiative of the 
Workers 9 International Relief organisations. 


Chapter X: MURDER 

Murder stalks through Germany. Mutilated corpses j 

are carried out of Nazi barracks. The bodies of people dis- 
figured beyond recognition are found in woods. Corpses 4 

drift down the rivers. “ Unknown 55 dead lie in the mor- 
tuaries. 

During the world war list§ were published of those 
who were killed. The lists were even exchanged between ‘ ! 

enemy governments. The Hitler Government is naturally 
not so “ liberal 55 as to publish the list of all its victims. 

Only a small number of the murders ever appear in the 

Press, and then in the form of ££ shot while trying to escape ” 

or in some similar lying form ; and if anyone were to try ! 

to $et at the truth, he would suffer the same fate : torture 

and death. * 

On March 22nd a general amnesty was proclaimed for all 
criminal acts ££ committed in the fight for the national 
revolution. 53 This general amnesty is a licence for all past 
and future murders. 

Hitler’s Comrades of Potempa. There is no complete 
list of the victims of Nazi knives and bullets even in the 
months preceding Hitler’s entry into the Government. |J| 

Certainly there must have been many hundreds murdered : 

Social Democrats, Communists and members of the Catholic 
Parties as well as non-Party workers. A wave of murderous 
attacks on Social Democrats, Communists and members of I 

the Democratic parties developed in the first half of August ^ ] 

1932 ; in many towns these occurred on the same day, | 

showing clearly that they were organised. In January, * 

1933, under the Schleicher Government, the number of 
crimes of violence perpetrated by National Socialists rose 
very rapidly, and after Hitler became Chancellor they 
> increased from day to day. In the first half of February, 

I 


1 


314 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

27 working men and women were murdered by Nazi 
storm troops. 

The most notorious case in the summer of 1932 was the 
murder of a worker in Potempa, a village in Upper Silesia. 
A murder gang of Nazis, who had first drunk heavily in 
an inn, forced their way into a house where a Communist 
worker lived and literally trampled him to death in front 
of his aged mother. When all the bestial details of the crime 
had been disclosed in court and the death sentence had been 
passed on some of the criminals, Hitler openly came to their 
defence and in a letter described them as “ my comrades. 55 
They were, pardoned by the Papen Government. 

Immediately after March 5th, 1933, that is, even before 
the “ general amnesty, 55 these murderers were amnestied 
by Hitler and again let loose upon the working class. 

The Murders and how they are Hushed up. As inwall 
other sections of this book, we rely in 'this chapter only bn 
material which has been carefully checked up : the main 
sources are accounts of eyewitnesses, and reports pub- 
lished by the Press in Germany which has been 45 brought 
into conformity. 55 These Press reports not only reveal the 
murders but also show the methods used to hush them up 
— methods which unintentionally often provide proof of 
the crime. 

In the month of March 1933, reports of political murders 
still appeared in the Press as a result of the initiative of the 
reporters. But in spite of the fact that the only surviving 
newspapers had been C£ brought into conformity, 55 so many 
reports of murders began to appear that they became 
dangerous for the Hitler Government. In the course of 
April the reporting of murders was taken out of the hands 
of the Press itself, and even of the local censors appointed 
by the Hitler Government : the following announcement 
was issued by the Wolff Telegraph Bureau : 

4 4 Berlin, 2nd April. WTB. The Government has advised 
all news-agencies that reports on incidents in Germany, 


MURDER 


particularly reports on conflicts arising out of the Jewish 
boycott, must not be published without express sanction, 
from the press department of the Reich Government. 
No alteration of the wording of the report as passed 
for publication is permitted.” 


As a result of this centralisation of the censorship, a 
concrete picture of incidents is seldom given ; and if any 
details appear, they are almost certain to be contradictory. 
There are many ways in which the incidents are dealt 
with so as to conceal the true facts. 

In the first place, bodies found are said to be of “ un- 
known persons.” In most cases the police can immediately 
identify such bodies, as the dead persons have already 
been reported as missing or as having been taken away by 
force. But the reports do not disclose their identity. 

Secondly, a great number of murders are represented as 
suicides. The following report of the murder of Councillor 
Kresse, of Magdeburg, shows how clumsily the truth is 
concealed : 



“Magdeburg, 14th March (TU.), An incident resulting in 
bloodshed occurred late on Sunday evening at Fel- 
geleben, near Magdeburg, at an inn which had been 
used as a voting station. The Social Democratic 
Councillor Kresse, who arrived at the inn from Magde- 
burg, was taken into custody by the police officers 
there at the request of a number of storm troop men. 
In another room an argument developed between 
Kresse and a number of storm troop men, in the course 
of which Kresse fired a shot at the National Socialists, 
severely wounding the storm troop leader Gustav 
Lehmann. Everyone ran out of the inn, into which' 
several shots were then fired from outside. Shortly 
afterwards Kresse was found dead in the inn, with a 
bullet through his head. A post-mortem examination 
is now being carried out to establish whether Kresse, 
after his revolver attack, put an end to his own life, or 



* 



316 brown book of the hitler terror 

whether he was killed by one of the shots fired into the 
inn from outside. 9 ’ 

The National Socialist Party Press has a tendency to 
make such reports as sensational as possible. For example, 
the Volkischer Beobachter of April 25th presents one of the 
worst cases of lynching as suicide, in the following terms : 

“ Terrible suicide : smeared with tar and burnt. A man 
living in a bungalow on tlie Honer Moor has committed 
suicide by a terrible method. Pie went into the tool- 
house built on to his bungalow, where there was a 
barrel of tar. After taking off some of his clothes, he 
smeared himself with tar and set fire to the barrel. 
He died in the fire which resulted. The motive of the 
suicide was melancholia. The bungalow was completely 
burnt down. The suicide was a married man with 
several children.” 

The third method is to ascribe to natural causes deaths 
which take place in hospital as a result of Nazi brutalities. 
In a number of cases (for example, that of Dr. Eckstein, 
of Breslau) the report is used to slander the individuals after 
their death ; references to venereal diseases are made to 
discredit the victims. 

The fourth method is to suggest that the motive of the 
crime was not political ; in such cases, naturally, no details 
of persons or motives are given, as for example the following 
report published in Germania of May 15th, 1933 : 

£< A police report states that on Saturday evening Henseler, 
a slater, was forced by several persons to accompany 
them to No. 2 s Lessingstrasse. Shortly afterv/ards the 
neighbours heard a number of shots. H. was found in 
r the loft, severely wounded, and taken to hospital, 
where he died within a short time. The criminals 
escaped without being recognised.” 

The fifth method is the use of a formula which, since the 
murder of Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg, has 
had a quite definite and unambiguous meaning — the 



MURDER 317 


formula : “ Shot while trying to escape. 55 Here is a typical 
case, told in the officially published reports : 

f' 1 

The Frankfurter geitung of April 5 publishes the fol- 
lowing report from Diisseldorf, dated April 4 (WTB.) : 

“ The Communist leader Bassler, who has evaded arrest 
for a considerable time, was located this morning by 
auxiliary police officers. During the search the arrested 
man made use of a moment when he was not under 
observation to attempt an escape. As he would not stop 
in spite of repeated warnings, the officers made use of 
if their weapons. B. was seriously wounded by a bullet 

and died after being taken to hospital. 55 

II 

The Angriff of Ap^il 5 publishes the following message 
from Diisseldorf, dated April 5 : 

cc The police state that on April 4, at about 4 p.m. (!) 
the Communist official Bassler was arrested in his flat 
by protective corps men. In the search of his flat two 
packets of dynamite were discovered. Documents were 
also confiscated. On the way to the police station B. 
made an attempt to escape. He did not stop in spite of 
being summoned to do so several times, and continued 
1 ^ to run after warning shots were fired. He was severely 

^ wounded by a shot in his back, and died shortly after 

being taken to hospital. 55 

In actual fact, Bassler 5 s home was surrounded during the 
night ; he was brought out early in the morning and shot^ 
in the street. The contradictions in the official reports are 
clear. The dynamite was not found, but invented. 

cc Reduction in the Number of Political Murders.” 
The Deutsche Allgemeine geitung of May 6th, 1 933, published 
i * the following, under the heading : “ Great reduction in 




318 brown book of the hitler terror 

the number of political murders since the National Govern- 
ment took power ” : 

“ The following statement is official : The Prussian 
Premier and Minister of the Interior, Goering, an- 
nounces through the Chief of the Secret Police Depart- 
ment that there has been a marked reduction, since the 
National Government took power, in acts of violence 
with fatal results arising from political motives. , . . 
Almost simultaneously with the taking of power by the 
National Government the effective defence measures 
taken by the new Government, together with the re- 
laxing of political tension as a result of the victory of 
the national movement, brought about a rapid fall 
in the number of fatal cases, which had previously 
been mounting steadily and has now reached its lowest 
point for a long time, with only two fatal cases in April 
of this year. 55 « 


At about the same time as the Hitler Government issued 
this transparent announcement, it was also officially 
announced that during the month of April forty-six bodies 
had been brought to the Berlin mortuary alone, with their 
features mutilated beyond recognition. During the month 
of April the Fascist Press itself reported fifty political 
murders, the names being given in each case. 

We now give details of a number of cases, giving the 
sources of information in each case. 

cc Shot while Trying to Escape.” We have already 
quoted the reports published in the Frankfurter Zeitung and 
the Angriff in connection with the death of Heinz Bassler. 
"Bassler had been a member of the National Socialists and 
a storm troop leader ; in December 1930 he began to 
the real policy of the Nazis and left the National 
Socialist Party, later joining the Communist Party. This 

letter 


MURDER 


319 


<c If only our dear Heinz was still alive ! I can’t realise it. 
But God will revenge this crime. This crime was no 
German deed. 

<£ In the morning, that is, Tuesday morning about four, 
we were roused by seven protective corps men and two 
detectives. We were kept quiet with revolvers. Heinz 
had to dress and go with them. We had to lock the doors 
and were not allowed to open the windows. O God, 
how roughly they treated qur Heinz ! They closed off 
the street as early as three o’clock, and at four they came 
up. And then they took him with them and they shot 
him in the street, c martial law.’ Oh, what he must have 
suffered, the poor lad, I wish I had gone with him ! 
He had three shots through his heart, one in his arm, 
one in his neck, one in his pelvis, and two others besides, 
eight shots in all. Then they left him lying there, and 
some peasants found him, like a dog. I can’t believe it. 
jl went running t% Herr M. in the morning, for Heinz 
told me, go at once to him and tell him, for Weitzel 
has pledged himself to help me. But what help did he 
give ! Heinz trusted people too much. Frau Lene, if 
you could have seen Heinz now, on the death bier, 
you would have called God to judge, they had treated 
him so brutally ! I can’t forget what he looked like, 
how can anyone treat a poor harmless human being so 
brutally? And then the lies in the newspapers, that 
Heinz had been shot while trying to escape and that 
they had found two packets of dynamite 1 Such mean- 
ness, and it’s not possible to get any justice done. 
Not even a pistol or a piece of paper of any importance 
did they find ! And then the papers write such a provo- 
cation ! But I call God in heaven to judge, for such a 
cruel and mean crime. . . . 

“ Everyone is so overwhelmed by this crime, they can’t 
believe it, that these people should shoot down a person 
by himself, so mean and brutal. The funeral is Saturday 
afternoon at half-past one, at the South Cemetery. 

* Heinz . will be buried by the clergyman, and many, 



320 


brown book of the hitler terror 


many people will come with him on his last journev 

V wcnt u t0 Herr he treated me ! When I 

aid to him, how can anyone shoot a helpless man like 

5 e amwered : ‘ you say much more, I’ll have 
you arrested too, , . , l ’ ” nave 

Z ll r Sh0 °l Y ™ DoWn ” Al >out 6 p.m. on March 
two’ rV/L-f Me , ss “f’ a work mg woman, married and with 

Selh \ € ^ l ] eT ll0me m the Somme rmuhlenweg i n 

helb (Bavaria) and went towards the town to do som! 

Na°t?r n f's r ' f ° rty yards fr0m her home she met a 

Uonal Socialist of the name of Lager, who lived in the 
same street. He got in front of her and provoS h“r Jv 

L ^ r "»K»d her and 

SS " ,, ? T CT ' 5,yi “* "™ *«, yon 

down ! She answered calmly : “ Shoot away ' ” 

Lager put his Browning to the woman’s- throat and pfilled 

he trigger. F rau Messing was mortally wounded P Her 

S^diT^" "j* * ^ 

u lo aeam - the murderer went to the Nari inn , 

ponce’’ He wat nT ^ himself U P t0 the “ axillary 

released A Jail nf K U Ten da ^ s later he ™ 

eieased. A guard of honour met him at the station in Selh 

Lager was not expelled from the storm troom On the 

o er and, the husband and nineteen-year old son of the 

^S™TS.. are " P-ta-T. ™der' 

a criminal, nor for a murderer w / T not lookm & for 

Machnower Forest of three hnJ* r Ending m the 

had been shot hut n ^ ° f y° un S Persons who 

been shot, but whose identity was unknown. In spite , 



fill;?; 


Grete Messing, a working woman, who was shot down in 
the street by a storm trooper, and bled to death. 


PLATE NO. 1 6 , 


322 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

of the fact that the police had all particulars these were 
withheld from the public. The three youths were : 

1. Fritz Nitschmann, upholsterer, born at Oldenburg, 
March ist, 1909, then living in Berlin. His parents did not 
belong to any party, nor did he. 

2. Hans Balschukat, a worker, born August 28th, 1913, 
in Berlin. Living in Berlin. Member of the Red Aid or* 
ganisation. 

3. Preuss, twenty- three- years of age. Living in Berlin. 

We have received the following information with regard 

to Fritz Nitschmann : 

At 9.30 p.m. on March 8th, Nitschmann was walking 
with his fiancee towards his home. When they reached the 
corner of the Stubenrauch-Erdmannstrasse, a red car came 
over the Siegfried Bridge and crossed to the left side of 
the empty street. Two men in storm troop uniform — the 
chauffeur was in civilian clothes— jumped out of the car 
and came towards Nitschmann and his fiancee, calling 
out : “ Halt, stand still, you must come and have your 
papers examined.” Nitschmann said quietly : “ You must 
have made a mistake,” to which the Nazis replied : cs Shut 
your mouth and get in ! ” Nitschmann did as he was told, 
as he felt that he had nothing to worry about. His fiancee, 
who also belongs to no party, wanted to get into the car 
with him, but was pushed roughly away by the Nazis, 
who told her that Nitschmann was only being taken to be 
identified, and that nothing would happen to him. His 
fiancee, who was crying after being pushed away, did not 
note either the number of the car or the number on the 
collar of the Nazis. The car drove through the Stuben- 
rauchstrasse and turned into the Hauptstrasse. 

Immediately after his arrest Nitschmann’s fiancee went 
to his mother and told her what had happened. From there 
she went to the police station in the Kriemhildstrasse and 
stated the facts. There she was told : “ Nothing will happen 
to him, he will be back soon. Gome again to-morrow.” 
At 8 a.m, on March 9th, his mother went to the same police 
station, and was told the same thing. She was however tolcf 


MURDER 



323 

that during the night enquiries had been made at all 
police stations, and that Nitschmann had not been brought 
in to any. She was to come again at noon. At noon his father 
# went to the police station and reported him as missing. 

Up to March nth, Nitschmann’s parents heard nothing 
from the police. At 9 a.m. on that date police officers 
arrived with the information that the Berlin Morgenpost 
had reported that three bodies had been found in the 
Machnower Forest. From the^ description given, Nitsch- 
mann’s father thought that on@ of these must be his son, 
and he went to the police station, where however he could 
not yet get any further information. 

At noon the father went to the police headquarters and 
? spoke to the inspector who was dealing with the case. The 
I inspector, who did not then know that Nitschmann had 
j been carried off by storm troop men, told the father that 
in all his experience he had never come across such a brutal 
murder. After the father had given all details, the inspector 
stated that he and his officers would do everything they 
could to discover the criminals. 

The father identified his son in the mortuary, in the 
presence of the inspector. The body showed ten bullet 
wounds, eight in the back, one in the neck, and one in the 
jaw. Permission to take a photograph of the body was 
refused. Cremation also was not allowed, in view of the 
possibility of expert examination being necessary. Up to 
March 15th the Criminal Department had not yet author- 
ised the handing over of the bodies to their families. 

Two persons independently approached Nitschmann’s 
father and gave the number of the car in which Nitschmann 
had been carried off as IA 78087 ; both also stated that it 
was a red car. 

With regard to Hans Balschukat, the following infor- 
mation is in our possession : 





tc On March 8th, Balschukat was arrested at the entrance 
of Gotenstrasse 14 in Schoneberg by three National 
Socialists with drawn revolvers, who carried him off 


a 


324 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

in a dark car. On March xoth his father received 
post card with the following : 

“ c I have to-day found a purse with contents. Please 
come for the purse on Saturday, March nth, at 
6 p.m. 

‘Hans Schmidt, Bomstedt bei Potsdam, 

c Viktorias trasse 26/ 55 

When the card arrived,- Balschukat’s father was not at 
home, and- his mother took it to the police, who told her 
that she should not in any circumstances go to Born- 
stedt. At the same time they telephoned to Bornstedt and 
to the detectives who were then investigating the crime in 
the Machnower Forest. The purse was taken charge of by 
the Criminal Department. That same day the father also 
went to the police, who told him that he must not gp to 
Bornstedt, that the man who alleged lihat "'he had found the 
purse had already been arrested, as he was suspected of 
the crime, in view of the fact that the purse showed no sign 
of having been lying about. 

On March 1 1 th the father saw his son’s body. He could 
not identify him at first, as the body was terribly disfigured. 
The lips were swollen and blue, the chin battered in, and 
there were blue patches on the neck and larynx and chest, 
apparently caused by violent kicks. The arms and chest 
had a number of swollen patches, which were evidently 
the result of the lad having been tied up. 

From the father’s superficial examination — he was not 
allowed to examine the body carefully — the murdered lad 
had had six or seven bullets through him, two at the 
* back of his head, one through his temple, two or three in 
his right arm, and a shot through his chest. 

No details can be secured with regard to the murder of 
Preuss, as his father refuses to give any information. 

Steel Rods and Spirits of Salt. Grotohenne, a tele- 
graph fitter, was a member of the Reichsbanner, but held f 


MURDER 


no political office of any kind. On Monday, March 27th, 
he was visited by storm troop men, who insisted on his 
coming with them to the storm troop quarters. When he 
did not come home after some considerable time, Frau 
Grotohenne went to the storm troop quarters, and just 
as she was asking one of the Nazis to release her husband, 
Grotohenne was brought out into the street, little more than 
a bleeding lump of flesh. Several men brought him home ; 
he complained of internal pain# as well as external injuries, 
Grotohenne was able to tell what had been done to him. 
His clothes had been taken off and he had been beaten 
with steel rods for three hours, from time to' time being 
made to wipe the blood from the floor with his own clothes. 
When he was lying almost unconscious the Nazis tried to 
pour spirits of salt between his clenched teeth. As they did 
not succeed in doing this, they then forced his teeth apart, 
tearing away a part of his upper lip in doing this. Groto- 
henne died on April 89th, after terrible suffering. An official 
post-mortem was held, and the cause of his death was 
certified as : “ apoplexy and internal burns.” The case was 
referred to the Criminal Department, but up to the present 
none of the criminals have been followed up. 


Beaten* Stabbed and Trampled on. On March 28th 
the Communist Edom, of Robertstrasse 6, Konigsberg, was 
carried away from his home at midnight. As it was known 
that he was a friend of the Communist Reichstag deputy 
Schiitz he was beaten for two hours in such a brutal way 
that he lost control of himself and told the Nazis where 
Schiitz was living. At 2.30 a.m., Schiitz was brought to the 
same Nazi barracks and there beaten, stabbed and trampled 
on for twelve hours ; on the evening of March 29th, Schiitz 
died in hospital, the cause of death being given as heart’ 
failure. On April 3rd, Schiitz’s body was put into the ground 
like a dog’s. His death was not reported in any German 
paper ; the doctors and nurses who had attended him were 
forced by threats to say nothing. In the meanwhile, Frau 
* Schiitz had been arrested. After her husband had been 


1 


326 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

buried she was compelled to sign an undertaking to say 
nothing of what had happened. The Nazis took Schiitz’s 
twelve-year-old son to see his father’s mutilated body, and 
one of them said to him : “ You will have^the same fate if 
you follow in his footsteps.” 

Lynched in Prison. The three following official reports 
on the case of Schumm are enough to expose the methods 
used by the Fascist news-agencies : 

I 

“ Kiel, i April (TU.) : At about eleven o’clock a dispute 
arose in front of the Jewish furniture shop kept by 
Schumm, in the course of which the son of the Jewish 
shopkeeper attacked a protective corps man. When one 
of his comrades came to the latter’s help, a fight 
developed between the two protective corps men *md 
the shopkeeper, who rushed up, and his son, in the 
course of which a shot was fired which seriously wounded 
in the chest the protective corps man Walter Asthalter, 

22 years old, of Kiel.” 

(The facts were as follows : In the course of the boycott of 
Jewish shops a storm troop gang occupied the furniture 
shop kept by Schumm. The shopkeeper was molested by 
the Nazis, and his son, a lawyer, tried to protect him. A 
dispute arose, and then a tussle, “ in the course of which 
a shot was fired ” — by one of the Nazis — which seriously 
wounded another of the storm troop men.) 

II 

“ Kiel, i April (WTB.) : The son of the proprietor of the 
Schumm furniture shop, who in the morning had fired 
some shots at a storm troop man in front of his father’s 
shop and wounded him severely in the stomach, has 
been shot in the police cell to which he had been 
brought. It is reported that a number of persons went to r 


MURDER 


police headquarters and demanded that the door of 
Schumm’s cell should be opened, and when this was 
done, several shots were fired which killed him on the 
spot. The body was conveyed to the medical institute.” 

(This second report is already improved to make it appear 
that Schumm, who was absolutely unarmed, had not only 
fired the shot, but <c some shots.” The report gives the 
circumstances of the murder of Schumm accurately enough, 
but without expressly stating that the Nazis concerned 
murdered him to get a witness of the morning 5 s n crime out 
of the way. 

But both these reports were so transparent that that same 
afternoon the Central Press Bureau intervened and pro- 
duced the following account, which is false in every par- 
ticular.) 


64 Kiel, i April (WTB.) : The Jewish lawyer and com- 
missioner for oaths Schumm at 11.30 this morning shot 
a protective corps man of the name of Walter Asthalter 
in the stomach ; according to information so far to hand, 
the shooting, which took place in the Kehdenstrasse, 
was without any plausible ground. .The protective corps 
man died in the Clinic. An enraged crowd of people 
assembled in front of the police jail, before the removal 
of Schumm, which had been ordered by the authorities, 
could be effected. The enraged crowd forced its way 
into the prison, where Schumm was killed by revolver 
bullets. The whole incident developed so quickly that 
the police could do nothing to stop it. The crowd also 
forced their way into the shop kept by Schumm’s father 
in the Kehdenstrasse and destroyed the stock. 55 

How the mineworkers 5 leader Albert Funk was 
murdered. On April 16th the mineworkers 5 leader, 
Albert Funk, was recognised by a National Socialist in 
Dortmund and denounced to the police. Albert Funk had 


328 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

for many years played a leading part in the straggles of 
• the mineworkers ; he was formerly a Communist member 
of the Reichstag and leader of the United Mineworkers’ 
Union. 

Funk was put into the Dortmund police prison. He suc- 
ceeded in getting out a letter reporting the terrible brutali- 
ties inflicted on seven other prisoners ; he himself was not 
brutally treated at first. The papers said not a word about 
his arrest ; this was enough to arouse the gravest fears. On 
April 26th, after ten days in prison, Albert Funk was 
murdered.. His wife came to the prison to ask to see him, 
and was told that she could not, because he had poisoned 
himself in his cell. This was on April 28th, 

On the next day, April 29th, the Press of the Ruhr district 
published “ sensational disclosures ” about alleged dis- 
coveries of arms, dynamite dumps, terrorist groups, etc., 
of the Communists in the Recklingshausen area, and in this 
connection it was reported that the ^Communist Reicfistag 
deputy Albert Funk, who had been arrested, had made an 
insane attempt to escape from the Recklinghausen prison 
by jumping from the third-floor window into the courtyard ; 
that he had broken his spine, arms and legs ; that he had 
been taken fully conscious to hospital, where he died shortly 
afterwards. Nothing was said about Funk having been in 
prison for two weeks ; and naturally not a word of explana- 
tion was given as to how he was suddenly transported from 
Dortmund to Recklingshausen. 

Albert Funk had been driven almost out of his mind by 
horrible tortures, and his tormentors then forced him to 
throw himself out of the window. When some of the 
murdered man’s imprisoned comrades who were in the 
courtyard at the time cried out in horror, the murderers 
shouted down to them : “You Moscow swine can come 
and jump after him ! ” 

Literally Tom to Pieces. A witness reports : 

“ Early in March, Fritz Gumpert, of Heidenau, was 
arrested. He was accused of ‘ having buried munitions 41 


MURDER 


F 

'i 


t 




f" 


Y 


329 


and arms. 9 He was taken to the Konigstein fortress and 
thence to the concentration camp at Hohenstein. There 
he was put in chains and tortured. He was so appal- 
lingly ill-used that he died. His wife was informed that 
he had died of internal hemorrhage. 

“ Workers in the Heidenau factories collected money to 
bring the body to Heidenau. This was permitted, but 
on the express condition that the coffin should not be opened \ 
The workers did not observe \ this condition. None of the 
eye-witnesses will ever forget n the sight. Gumpert’s face 
had been completely torn to pieces. As far as they could 
tell, his tongue was missing. Traces of heavy chains were 
visible on Ms arms. The back of the body was a lump 
of flesh that had been cut in pieces and was full of holes. 
The spine was broken. The sexual organs were lacerated. 
The right thigh was torn open. The pit of the stomach 
had been kicked in, so that the intestines were protrud- 
ing. The lips showed how the victim had bitten into 
them to endure the appalling tortures he had suffered. 

“ Horrified and enraged workers gathered round, and the 
storm troop men used this as an excuse to confiscate 
the body again. A number of police and doctors came 
up, and a raid was conducted on the working-class 
houses in order to confiscate photographic apparatus 
and films. All witnesses were threatened with the severest 
penalties if they spoke of the case. Those who were 
known to have seen the body were warned ‘ to keep 
their mouths shut. 9 

ce On Friday, April 28th, the funeral took place. Some 
3,000 working men and women went to take part, but 
all approaches were barred by storm troops armed 
with rifles. When the cemetery gates were reached, the 
Nazis attacked the procession, and only the relatives ** 
were allowed in the cemetery. A clergyman wearing the 
swastika spoke at the graveside. 99 


St. Bartholomew’s Night in Kopenick. In many 
' German towns the Nazi storm troops have carried out 






330 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

the <e night of the long knife 99 foretold by Hitler before his 
advent to power. On the night of June 2ist-22nd the Nazis 
began a series of murders, which lasted several days, in 
Kopenick, a suburb of Berlin. The victims were officials of 
the Social Democratic Party, of the Reichsbanner and of 
the Communist Party. 

On June 21st the storm troops twice searched the house 
of a trade union secretary, Schmaus, in Kopenick. They 
stated that they were looking for arms. During the night 
the storm troop men cam§ a third time, arrested Schmaus’s 
son-in-law, who was a Communist, and then stormed the 
house, firing a number of shots. Schmaus had a feeble- 
minded son twenty-two years of age who was wakened by 
the shooting, picked up a revolver and went to oppose the 
Nazis. His mother shouted to him in alarm : “ Don’t 
shoot ! 99 But the son shot at and mortally wounded two of 
the Nazis who had forced their way in. 

Then the slaughter began. Schmam’s sen-in-law Raiow- 
ski was immediately shot by the Nazis in front of the house. 
Schmaus’s son was arrested and brutally done to death. 
Schmaus himself was hanged by the Nazis in his house. 
Frau Schmaus was accused of having told her son to shoot, 
and was so brutally ill-used that she died a few days later. 

That night cc Marxists 99 were arrested throughout 
Kopenick and Friedrichshagen. Among them were the 
Reichsbanner leader and former premier of Mecklenburg, 
Johannes Stelling ; the fifty-five-year-old Paul von Essen, 
who was an official in the Reichsbanner ; and Assmann, 
fifty-seven years of age, who had been Reichsbanner leader 
in Friedrichshagen. A Social Democratic eye-witness gives 
the following account of what happened to the prisoners 
in the Nazi barracks : 

“ We were taken by car to the Kopenick prison. The 
square in front was filled with storm troop men, who 
wanted to attack us as soon as they saw us. The storm 
troop leader, however, shouted : e Stop, don’t hit them 
in the street ! 9 But we were hardly inside the building 


MURDER 


33 * 

when they began to attack us. We were driven up the 
stairs and along a long passage. In a long cell there were 
ten comrades standing with their faces to the wall. The 
floor and wall was already spattered with blood. An old 
woman, with blood streaming from her mouth and nose, 
and her clothes spattered with blood, was forced to scrub 
the floor. One of the storm troop men asked me : £ Do 
you know this whore ? 9 I looked at her more closely, 
and saw with horror thafr she was my wife’s mother. 
Then the Nazi told Comrade Kaiser to strike an- 
other comrade in the face. When Kaiser hesitated, he 
hit him such a blow with his fist that he went staggering 
to the wall. Then the comrades were forced with blows 
from sticks to hit each other until they were bleeding. 

, . . After that we had to run the gauntlet about ten 
times through lines of storm troop men armed with 
sticks and truncheons. In the course of this some of the 

r? t 

older comrades '^collapsed. Meanwhile, the fifty-five- 
year-old Paul von Essen was brought in, the Nazis greet- 
ing him with howls of joy. He had been unemployed 
for a long time, and had just come out of hospital ; he 
was blind in one eye ; he took part in the war, and he 
had four children. They first hit him in the face, then 
pulled down his trousers and beat him with really insane 
fury with sticks and truncheons until he lost conscious- 
ness. Comrade von Essen has since succumbed to the 
terrible injuries his torturers inflicted on him. . . . 

“ Then we were each taken to a cell and beaten. The 
brutalities were repeated regularly every hour. Finally 
I was taken to the leader for examination, and in my 
despair I denied that I was a Marxist. He then ordered 
that I should not be beaten meanwhile, but if it, 
turned out that I had told a lie I was to be shot. 

fie Shortly afterwards the door of my cell was flung open, 
and a storm troop leader rushed in with other storm 
troop men and beat me, shouting : £ You scoundrel, 
we’ll finish you off to-day ! 9 I was then dragged along 
the passage to my mother-in-law’s cell, and while two 


'i 


332 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

of the Nazis held me, the old woman, who was fifty- 
three years of age, was beaten with sticks until she lay 
quiet on the floor. She is now out of her mind and in an 
asylum. . . . 55 

This eyewitness did not recognise either S telling or Ass- 
mann among the prisoners. Some days later Stelling’s body, 
covered with wounds, and sewn up in a sack, was taken out 
of the Finow Canal. At the same time two other unknown 
bodies were recovered. Eleven other men were missing. On 
July i sth people in Friedrichshagen heard that Assmann’s 
body had also been found. 

And so also throughout Germany, at the time when Hitler 
was more and more openly acting on behalf of the rich 
capitalists of Germany, the number of murders was rising. 


f. 


Chapter XI: THE GERMAN 
WORKERS’ FIGHT AGAINST 
FASCISM 

O n April 2 ist, 1933, the police press bureau in Stutt- 
gart issued the following : 

5 

“ Although the seizure and confiscation of all Communist 
printed papers was ordered as far back as March ist, 
Communist sheets are still circulating; ...” 

On April 28th the police press bureau of Berlin stated : 

“ In the course of the search a considerable quantity of 
printed matter and numerous stencils for the production 
of leaflet material for May 1st were found in Steglitz 
and Friedenau.” 

That the attempt to stop the organisation of the anti- 
Fascist fight had not succeeded is shown by the following 
announcement made by the police press bureau of Cassel 
on May 5th, 1933 : 

c< In continuation of the measures taken against the 
illegal district leadership of the German Communist 
Party in Cassel, early on Thursday morning the political 
police carried out searches in secret offices and in the 
houses of the leaders of the district committee. ...” 

On May 26th, 1933, the Bremen police announced that 

u In spite of the police warning issued a few days ago in 
connection with the distribution of illegal Communist 
sheets, and the reference to the severe penalties attached, 
on Thursday evening the illegal Arbeiter Z e ^ tun gy six 
pages in size, was circulated by the Communists. *•. 


334 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

Hitler aimed at carrying out the destruction of all political 
parties. But there is one party that he cannot destroy : the 
German Communist Party, which is carrying on the fight 
against Fascism illegally. The statements issued by the 
Hitler Government are every day proving that this party’s 
active opposition cannot be broken. Reports are coming 
in from every part of Germany showing that groups of 
workers belonging to the Social Democratic Party and to 
the Reichsbanner, the League of Socialist Youth and the 
Christian organisations are "joining with the Communists 
in this fight/ 

In the days following the burning of the Reichstag, anti- 
Fascist sheets issued by the Communists were already cir- 
culating among the workers. Workers’ homes and the 
cellars and roofs of blocks of flats were transformed into 
secret printing works. Although hundreds of active agita- 
tors were arrested, thousands of newly trained and deter- 
mined workers took their place. In spife of the extension of 
torture and ill-treatment, the fight for freedom against 
Fascism continued even more vigorously and with increas- 
ing effect. Each line of the illegal papers issued by the 
Communists is literally written in blood. New horrible acts 
of torture are perpetrated wherever each issue of these 
papers appears. 

Before the end of March an illegally printed pamphlet 
on the burning of the Reichstag was produced, and was 
distributed in every part of Germany. Its external appear- 
ance is that of an advertisement of the film In the Sign 
of the Cross. 

Goering, the organiser of the Reichstag fire, was com- 
pelled to pay a glowing tribute to the “ disintegrating 
work ” carried out by the Communists when, at the end of 
June 1933, he dissolved the organisation of young German 
Nationalists on the official ground that it had been com- 
pletely permeated by Communists. Early in July the 
threatening statements issued by Hitler and Frick against 
a “ second revolution ” showed that the work of unmasking 
the Hitler Government was achieving success even among 


GERMAN workers fight against fascism 335 

large numbers of the storm troops and of the National 
Socialist factory cells. 

The following pages give only a brief and partial state- 
ment of the “ underground 55 work which is being carried 
on in Germany. 

The Illegal “Rote Fahne.” One of the most vital sec- 
tions of the fight against Fascism is the production and dis- 
tribution of illegal newspapers. The Rote Fahne , the central 
organ of the German Communist Party, has been appear- 
ing regularly since the burning of the Reichstag. Police 
activities, raids, the allocation of thousands of spies, 
nightly patrols of storm troop men through printing 
works have been unable to prevent the production of this 
paper. It continues to appear as a two-or four-page paper, 
and to find its way into the blocks of flats in Wedding, 
interfile A.E.G. and Siemens factories and into the railway 
stations. Though the technical production of the paper may 
be worse than before, it is certain that none of its former 
issues have ever been read by so many people as the 
present issues. 

The Christian Socialist paper Reichspost , issued in Vienna, 
on May 27th, printed the following interesting story : 

<£ At first the Rote Fahne appeared in an illegally printed 
edition of 300,000 copies, and this was followed by a 
number of duplicated editions. Secret presses — previ- 
ously prepared for such purposes— duplicating machines 
and typewriters began their work. Soon the greater 
part of the local, cell and industrial papers — though 
most of them only duplicated — were again in circula- 
tion, and hundreds of thousands of leaflets were being 
passed from hand to hand in the factories and at the 
Labour Exchanges.” 

In twenty different areas in Greater Berlin, in addition 
to the printed Rote Fahne , duplicated papers produced 
from wax or metal sheets are regularly distributed weekly, 


33^ BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

experienced, long before the Hitler dictatorship was 
and sometimes twice weekly. They all bear the heading 
Rote Fahne . These papers are edited by workers. 

Red Papers Throughout Germany. Early in May the 
Hamburg police announced that : 

“ In spite of the strongest counter-measures taken by the 
authorities, again and again treasonable publications of 
the Communist Party 1 of Germany, and particularly 
papers such as the prohibited Hamburger Volkszeitung 
and other Marxist productions, are being produced and 
sold on the streets and in the houses, 95 

In the Ruhr district the Ruhr Echo has appeared several 
times, in large editions. The May 1st number was even 
printed in two colours. In Essen, although whole districts 
of the town have been searched through by storm troops 
and police, and although courageous distributors oP the 
papers have been most horribly tortured, duplicated 
editions of the Ruhr Echo continue to appear. 

A letter received from a Munich worker reports that 
every week a hectographed newspaper is issued in an 
edition of 3,000 copies. Immediately after its production 
it is distributed to the separate anti-Fascist groups and 
brought by them to the workers in a number of different 
ways. Six Reichsbanner groups are helping in the distribu- 
tion. 

The Bremen police refer to the illegal, six-page paper, 
the Arbeiter %eitung. In Stuttgart the South German Arbeiter 
Zeitung appears in printed form, and illegal papers are also 
distributed in Leipzig and Frankfurt-am-Main. During 
April and May several numbers of the Diisseldorf journal 
Freiheit were distributed. In Mannheim several issues of the 
Rote Fahne Badens have been published. In Erfurt the 
Thiiringer Volksblatt appears in duplicated form. 

In the Factories. The only party which had made pre- 
parations for carrying on underground activity in the fac- 
tories was the Communist Party. Its members were already # 


I 

4 

•V 


fr. 



german workers' fight against fascism 337 

established, in the secret production and distribution of 
factory papers. And because of this experience, it has been 
possible for numbers of such papers to be distributed in the 
factories during the period of the Hitler dictatorship. For 
example, a worker in the A.E.G. works in Berlin reports as 
follows in the Antifascistische Front of July 2nd, 1933 : 

“ Our last leaflet appeared in a format 10 x 20 cm. 
We produced it in the following way : We first worked 
out the slogans and cut them in linoleum ; then we put 
the strips of linoleum over an inked blotter and printed 
off copies one by one. During the night we pbsted a great 
number of these copies on various gates of the factory, 
and we scattered the remainder in the streets round. 
Our fellow workers, who are really starving for material 
of this kind, picked up the leaflets as they came to work 
in the morning and showed great enthusiasm, each 
single leaflet^passing through dozens of hands. 55 

The illegal papers Hafentelegramme , Funkspruche and 
Der Sturm are being published in the port of Hamburg. 
From one Hamburg office it is reported that the rolls of 
paper in the closets contain small leaflets or cuttings from 
illegal papers. In the Siemens works in Spandau, Berlin, 
anti-Fascist young workers have up to now succeeded in 
producing their paper regularly. In the Bielefeld works the 
Rote Wacht is being produced and distributed by a joint 
group of Communist, Social Democratic and Reichsbanner 
workers. 



Lightning Demonstrations.” During the months of 
March, April and May there were large and small anti- 
Fascist demonstrations in hundreds of places ; most of then^ 
took the form of so-called “ lightning demonstrations.” In 
such demonstrations the workers assemble at an agreed 
point at a given signal, carry out a demonstration lasting 
only a few minutes, shouting slogans against the Hitler 
dictatorship and singing anti-Fascist songs. These demon- 
% strations as a rule succeed in dispersing again before the 



1 / 


% 


1 


330 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

police or storm troops are able to intervene ; these mobile 
methods are adopted to prevent a large number of arrests. 

During April such demonstrations were held — in addition 
to very many others of which we have no reports — in 
Remscheid, Cleve, Krefeld, Siegen, Stettin, Worms, 
Osterode, Diisseldorf, and Linden near Hanover. * 

A report from Hamburg states that early in May the 
Young Communist League distributed 10,000 printed 
leaflets, posted up 80 posters ^prepared by hand, and painted 
anti-Fascist slogans on walls and pillars in every part of the 
town. Four Jightning demonstrations were held, in each of 
which an average of 300 young workers took part. 

A Danish anti-Fascist reports that during a visit to 
Germany he saw a street choir of four workers, who sud- 
denly shouted : “ Who set fire to the Reichstag ? The 
Nazis ! 55 — and then separated and disappeared. 

Early in March a streamer was found across a working- 
class street in Dortmund, bearing th£ words : cc Nero set 
fire to Rome and put the blame on the Christians — Hitler 
set fire to the Reichstag and blames the Communists ! 53 
The same slogan, printed from a linoleum cut, was posted on 
walls all over Dortmund at the end of April. 

The Vossische fitting of May 3rd reports : 

“ The Wolff Telegraph Bureau reports from Barnau that 
in the night of April 30th-May 1st a red banner bearing 
the hammer and sickle was fastened to the top of the 
steeple of the Marienkirche. Early in the morning of 
May 1 st it was taken down by storm troop men at the 
risk of their lives. That morning, which was the festival 
of national labour, Nazis who went to hoist the swastika 
„ banner at the Town Hall discovered that it had been 
stolen during the night. The excitement in Bernau 
arising from this double act of provocation was indes- 
cribable. During the night of May ist-2nd about forty 
suspected persons were arrested by the storm troops 
* and police, and removed to the concentration camp at 
Oranienburg. 33 


# 


4 

V GERMAN WORKERS’ FIGHT AGAINST FASCISM 339 

In addition to torture and murder, starvation is used by 
the Hitler Government as a method of fighting the anti- 
4 f , Fascists ; the following quotation from the Frankfurter 
Zeitung of July ioth, 1933, illustrates the methods used in the 
attempt to force the unemployed to denounce anti-Fascist 
agitators : 

“ Cassel, July 8th. In Schmalkalden, which is in the ad- 
ministrative district of Casspl, intensified Communist 
propaganda among the unemployed has been in evi- 
dence during the last few days. Several Communist 
leaflets have been distributed, and their producers and 
Y ? distributors have not yet been discovered. The Mayor of 
Schmalkalden has therefore ordered that relief is to be 
withheld from all recipients who are of Left tendencies 
until the criminals have been caught.” 

Anti-Fascists who a fe charged before the courts are not 
allowed witnesses or any other opportunities of defence. 
Before the charge is heard, the penalty has already been 
decided on. But in spite of everything many of the accused 
have made a heroic stand in court against the Fascist dic- 
tatorship. A report from Altona dated June 2nd, 1933, for 
example, states that during the trial of 20 anti-Fascist 
j workers : 

u The Communist worker Lutgens, against whom the 
Government attorney demanded the death penalty, 
stated that he regarded this demand put forward by 
the prosecution as an honour, as there could be no 
higher honour for a revolutionary worker than to be 
sentenced to the death penalty by a capitalist class court, 
and prison clothes were robes of honour.” 


In the middle of May a typist, Fraulein Jurr, was sen- 
tenced to imprisonment for eighteen months for having 
passed on leaflets. The Berlin journal Der Tag reported 
’that : 



340 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

“ The accused stated in court that she still remained loyal 
to Communist ideas, to which prosecuting counsel 
replied : c Attention must be called to the audacity and 
shamelessness displayed by Communists, who dare to 
proclaim their views even here in front of the special 
tribunals .’ 55 

Similar cases are reported from all parts of Germany. 
Only a very small percentage of the sentences passed on 
anti-Fascist agitators is ever reported in the Press ; but 
the increasing severity of the sentences has done nothing to 
stop the anti-Fascist work which is being carried on un- 
ceasingly. It has only been possible, within the limits of this 
book, to give a few examples of this work. The organisation 
of political and economic strikes, the hundreds of separate 
movements within the factories, and the revolts in the 
compulsory labour camps must be left to the second volume 
of the Brown Book . e * 

The story of the heroic stand made by anti-Fascists in 
the struggle for German freedom has still to be written : the 
story of fighters who stood their ground in spite of the 
menace of murder ; the story of prisoners who met the 
death sentence with a proud declaration of their loyalty to 
Socialism ; the story of tortured victims who sang the 
“ International ” in spite of steel rods and truncheons ; the 
story of heroes like the teacher Wilhelm Hamann in 
Hessen, who was ordered to raise the swastika banner and 
hout : “ Long live the leader of the German people, Adolf 
Hitler ! ” — but who hurled the banner to the ground and 
amid the blows of the storm troop men shouted : “ Long 
live the revolution and comrade Thalmann ! ” 

Tens of thousands of nameless heroes are fighting to free 
Germany and the world from the shameful barbarism of the 
Brown Shirts. They are facing courts martial and the gal- 
lows, torture and concentration camps. Their loyalty and 
courage cannot be broken. And their ceaseless activity is 
fanning the spark which will burst forth into the flame of 
Socialist freedom. * 


Appendix: LIST OF MURDERS 


The following is an extract from our list of mur- 
dered workers and intellectuals. We have definite infor- 
mation relating to over 500 murders carried out by the 
Nazis since March 3rd, and below we give the detailed 
particulars of 250. Our sources of information are official 
German announcements, press reports which hav$ not been 
denied, and authenticated reports of witnesses. 

It must be borne in mind that the list is only a small 
selection of the total number of murders, most of which are 
concealed by the rigorous censorship and the threats made 
by the Nazis to relatives and friends and witnesses. 


March 3rd. gerdes, Communist Member of the Diet, Oldenburg. 
Shot in the street. ( Wolff Telegraph Bureau.) unknown com- 
munist, Homberg, killed by a revolver shot. (WTB.) unknown 
reighsbanner man, Bremen, shot in the street. {WTB.) 
unknown worker, Bernburg, shot by National Socialists. 
(WTB.) GUSTAV segebrecht, Berlin, shot in the Stephan Inn, 
Liebenwalderstrasse 41. (Report from witness.) bernhard 
wirsching, Berlin, Petristrasse 8 /g, shot by Nazis in his flat. 
(Report from witness.) ebeling, a Magdeburg worker, killed 
in the Breckenstrasse by a shot through his stomach. (Witness.) 
weiss, caretaker of the Social Democratic People’s House, 
Worms, shot. (Witness.) unnamed girl, Worms, killed in the 
raid on the People’s House. (Witness.) fabian, a Communist 
worker, Kellinghusen, shot at and died in hospital. (WTB.) 

March 4th. two unnamed workers, Cologne, severely wounded 
by shots and subsequently died. (WTB.) unnamed member of 
the 44 iron front,” Thalesschweiler, shot in the street. 
(WTB.) Friedrich marquardt, Diisseldorf, Behrenstr. 14, 
no party, killed by blows. (Witness.) 

March 5th. klassen and de longue ville, Ober hausen (Rhine 
Province), killed in a school courtyard 44 while attempting to 
escape.” Both had bullet wounds in the front of their bodies. 


* 


34^ BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

(Witness.) warnicke, Quickborn, near Pinneberg, shot. 
{WTB.) unnamed reichsbanner man, Central Germany, 
stabbed to death. {WTB.) two brothers bassy, Bankau, 
Upper Silesia, murdered by storm troopers. (Witness.) karl 
tarnow, Berlin, beaten to death in Knesebeckstrasse, Neu- 
kolln. (Witness.) 

March 6th. grete messing, working woman, Selb, shot in the 
street. {WTB.) bans bauer, worker, no party, never returned 
from the Nazi barracks in the Hedemannstrasse, Berlin. 
(Witness.) friedlander, a baker’s apprentice, 19 years old, 
murdered in the Nazi ‘barracks in the Hedemannstrasse. 
{Berliner- Tageblatt.) 

March 7th. bernhard krause, Communist worker, Wiesenau, 
near Frankfurt-on- the- Oder, shot by storm troops. {WTB.) 
two unnamed workers, Hamburg, killed in Nazi raid. ( WTB.) 
unnamed worker, Diisseldorf, killed in the Levetzowstrasse. 

( Telegrqfen-Union.) 

March 8th. unnamed communist worker, Billstedt, near Ham- 
burg, shot “while trying to escape.” {WTB.) philipp,' “care- 
taker at Trade Union House, Breslau, shot when Nazis 
occupied the building. {WTB.) heinrich sparlich, building 
worker, Breslau, killed by a bullet and a knife stab in the back. 
{Deutsche Allgemeine Z e ^ un S>) balschukat, nitschmann and 
preuss, Schoneberg, Berlin. Bodies found in Machnower 
Forest. ( Vossische Z e itung.) unnamed communist worker, 
Bochum, found shot in the street. ( 777 .) unnamed worker, 
Bochum, shot in his flat by six unknown men. {TU.) bless, 
member of the Reichsbanner, Offenbach, mortally wounded 
in a Nazi attack, since died. (Witness.) 

March 9th. unnamed member of the reichsbanner, Munich, 
mutilated corpse found in the Munich Trade Union House, 
which had been occupied by Nazis on March 1st. (Witness.) 
landgraf, director of publishing house, Chemnitz, shot when 
the Volksstimme building was occupied. {TU.) hellpuch. 
Communist worker, Duisburg, found shot. {WTB.) 

March 10th. frau bigks, 70 years of age, Berlin, mortally wounded 
by storm troopers who fired through her door. {WTB.) 
Hermann, a watchmaker, Dresden, member of International 
Workers’ Relief, beaten to death in his house. (Witness.) 
hans saile, circulation manager, shot when the Volksfreund 
offices in Braunschweig were occupied. (Witness.) ullrich, ® 


LIST OF MURDERS 


343 

leader of the Hessen Social Democrats, beaten to death. 
(Berliner Tageblatt.) two unnamed workers, Zschopau, shot 
by storm troopers. (Berlin Lokal Anzeiger.) Alfred petzlaff. 
Communist worker, Schoneberg, Berlin, taken by Nazis from 
his home ; body found mutilated at Priesterweg station. 
(Witness.) scheunflugel, a worker, Bernau, Chemnitz, killed 
by a “ chance bullet.” (Berlin Lokal Anzeiger.) 

March nth. erich meyer, a young worker, Spandau, beaten to 
death. (Frankfurter Z e ^ un S-) Robert dittmar, a worker, 
Karlshorst, near Berlin, found shot. (Berlin Lokal Anzeiger.) 
unnamed worker, Breslau, stabbed to death. ( 777 .) forster 
and tandler, Communist workers, Limbach, near Chemnitz, 
“ shot when trying to escape.” (Witness.) Paul krantz, a 
young worker, Limbach, near Chemnitz, “ shot when trying 
to escape.” (WTB.) unnamed man, no party, Oppeln, shot 
on the steps of the Town Hall. (Berlin Lokal Anzeiger.) 

March 12th. councillor kresse, Social Democrat, Magdeburg, 
shot at election station in Felgeleben. (TU.) eichholz and 
Father, workers, Tplkemith, sc shot while trying to escape.” 
(TU.) spiegel, Social Democratic lawyer, Kiel, attacked at 
his home and killed. (WTB.) 

March 13th. unknown worker, Elbing, found shot. (TU.) 
heinz wesche and erna knoth. Communist councillors, 
Chemnitz ; the first shot in the prison courtyard, the second 
beaten to death in his cell. (Witness.) 

March 14th. krug, Schweinfurth, shot “ in self-defence ” by a 
Nazi. ( TU.) unnamed worker, Hamburg, shot by detectives. 
(WTB.) 

March 16th. dr. ascher, Berlin, Swinemunderstrasse, beaten to 
death. (Witness.) leo krell, editor, Berlin, beaten to death. 
(Witness.) 

March 17th. two unknown persons, Elbin, c< shot when trying 
to escape.” (JVachtausgabe.) 

March 18th. Walter schulz, Communist worker, Wittstock, 
murdered in prison. (Witness.) hans sachs, manufacturer, 
Chemnitz, shot. (WTB.) siegbert kindermann, Charlotten- 
burg, Berlin, taken to the Hedemannstrasse, beaten to death, 
and thrown from the window. (Berliner Tageblatt .) unnamed 
worker. Wedding, Berlin, beaten to death at Nazi quarters, 
(Witness.) 



344 brown book of the hitler terror 

March 19th. krebs, Communist worker, Moabit, Berlin, shot by- 
storm troopers in the street, (Witness.) 

March 20th. gunther joachim, lawyer, Berlin, tortured, died in 
Moabit Hospital. ( Vossische Z e ^ tm i*) kurt possaner, Berlin, 
shot. (Wiener Blatter.) 

March 21st. otto selz, Str&ubing, shot. (Witness.) 

March 22nd. Walter boege, Ebersbach, shot “ while trying to 
escape.” ( Vossische Z e ^ iun i*) wilhelm wenzel, Communist 
worker, Essen, shot in the street. {WTB.) dresche, Dresden, 
found murdered. (Witness.) 1 " paul reuter, Selchowerstrasse, 
Berlin, beaten to death by storm troopers. (Witness.) 

March 23rd.” erich lange, ex-member of the Nazi protective 
corps, Gelsenkirchen, shot by storm troopers. (Witness.) 
frangk, member of the Reichsbanner, Worms, said to have 
committed suicide. ( Unsere Z e ^ un §-) Herbert pangeritz, 
worker, Bergstrasse 78, Berlin, brutally treated and died in 
hospital. (Witness.) 

March 24th. frau arbets, a working woman, Gladbach, “ sliot 
while trying to escape.” {TU.) eric fi perl, 17 years old, 
Leipzig, shot in the street after release from a Nazi barracks. 
(Witness.) haus, retired Social Democratic councillor, found 
shot in Eichlingshofen. {Frankfurter 

March 25th. socialist, Wedding, Berlin, maltreated and died in 
hospital. (Witness.) frau muller, Aue, Saxony, maltreated, 
said to have committed suicide. (Witness.) 

March 27th. Neumann, shopkeeper, Konigsberg, beaten and used 
as target. {TU.) grotohenne, telegraph fitter, Braunschweig, 
beaten to death. (Witness.) dr. max plaut, lawyer, beaten to 
death in a Nazi barracks. (Witness.) max bilecki, Schoneberg, 
tortured in Nazi barracks and died in hospital. (Witness.) 

March 29th. Walter schutz, Communist member of the Reich- 
stag, Konigsberg, trampled to death. (Witness.) 

March 30th. fritz rolle, worker, Siemensstadt, found stabbed. 
{WTB.) leibl vollschlager, Skalitzerstrasse, Berlin, mur- 
dered and thrown into the river. (Witness.) unknown jew, 
in Oberhessen, hanged by the feet, and died. {Manchester 
Guardian .) « 

April 1st. wilhelm potter, baker, and karl gormann, Com- 
munist worker, Woldenberg, shot “ while trying to escape.” 

( Vossische Z^tung) wilhelm dengmann, steel-worker, Duisburg, • 




LIST OF MURDERS 


If 

V 


345 









shot in the street. (Vossiscke Z € & un i-) unnamed worker, 
Munich, shot “ while trying to escape." ( Miinchner Neueste 
Jsfachrichten.) fritz schlumm, lawyer, Kiel, beaten to death in 
prison. (TU.) pressburger, cattle dealer, Munich, shot, 
described' as suicide. {Miinchner Neueste Nachrichten .) 

April 2nd. h. Wertheimer, Kehl, alleged stroke before arrest. 

(WTB.) 

April 3rd. paul jaros, smith, Limbach, near Chemnitz, shot 
<£ while trying to escape." unnamed worker, Augsburg, 
alleged stroke before arrest. '(TU.) georg bell, shot by 
storm troop men in Austria. (Conti- WTB.) 

April 4th. heinz bassler, Dusseldorf, shot <c while trying to 
escape." 1 (WTB.) wilhelm drews, worker, Berlin, found shot. 
(Vossiscke Z e ^ un S‘) dr. philippsthal, Biesdorf, Berlin, beaten 
to death. (Berliner Tageblatt .) 

April 5th. renois, Communist councillor, Bonn, shot “while 
trying to escape.” (TU.) sauer, Zubachwitz, member of 
Social Democratic Party, beaten to death in concentration 
?amp. (Neue Wdt.\ wilhelm drews, Communist worker, 
Hamburg, shot in the street. (TU.) 

April 6th. max niedermayer, Communist councillor, Johann 
Georgenstadt, Saxony, beaten to death in Zwickau prison. 
(Witness.) kurt Friedrich, Communist worker, same town, 
shot. (Witness.) 

April 7th. hanussen, Berlin. (TU.) See report. 

April 8th. unnamed worker, Neukolln, Berlin, beaten to death 
by storm troops. (Witness.) 

April 9th. WALTER KASCH, Hamburg, shot. 

April 10th. fritz engler, hairdresser, no politics, Chemnitz, 
tortured and killed in the Zeisig Forest. (Witness.) 

April nth. max rupf, Reichsbanner member, Chemnitz, found 
shot. (TU.) dr. Arthur weiner, lawyer, Chemnitz, found 
shot. (Frankfurter Z e ^ un i>) alwin hanspach, Communist 
worker, Friedersdorf, Zittau, shot in prison. (TU.) % 

April 1 2th. benario, a lawyer, Arthur kahn and erwin kahn, 
and goldmann, merchants from Nurnberg, shot “ while 
trying to escape," Dachau concentration camp. (WTB, 
Deutsche Allgemeine fitting.) fritz kollosche, Charlottenburg, 
tortured in Nazi barracks, died in hospital. (Witness.) 



1 See photograph at end of book. 



1 


t 


34® BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

April 1 3th. albert janka, Communist member of the Reichstag, 
alleged suicide. ( WTB .) gustav schonherr, worker, Hamburg, 
tortured to death. (Saarbruck Arbeiter Z^itung.) 

April 15th. Spiro, a Jew, aged 17, Berlin, murdered in Nazi 
barracks in the Hedemannstrasse. (Witness.) 

April 1 6th. bretschneider, Siegmar, Saxony, found shot. (WTB.) 

April 1 8th. beyer, Krefeld, found shot. ( Vossiscke Zeitung.) 
richard tolleit, Communist worker, Konigsberg, shot “ while 
trying to escape.” (Frankfurter Zeitung.) unknown communist 
worker, Konigsberg, shot “while trying to escape.” ( TU .) 

April 19th. unknown railwayman, Munich, stabbed in the back, 
described as suicide. (Miinchner Neueste JVachrichten.) Alfred 
elker, a Christian, beaten to death by storm troopers because 
of his Jewish appearance. (Witness.) 

April 20th. Kaminski, Dortmund, member of anti-Fascist League, 
beaten to death in prison. (Witness.) 

April 2 1st. fritz dressel, Chairman of Communist fraction in 
the Diet, described as suicide (Miinckier Meueste Nachricf&en ), 
but reported by witness to have been murdered in Dachau 
camp. 

April 22nd. max cassel, dairyman, Wiesbaden, shot in his flat. 
(Deutsche AUgemeine Zntung.) Salomon rosenstrauch, mer- 
chant, Wiesbaden, shot in his flat. (Deutsche AUgemeine Zeitung.) 
Paul papst, worker, alleged suicide in Nazi barracks. (Ger~ 
mania). 

April 23rd. kurt benke, a storm trooper, Berlin. (Angriff.) franz 
schneider, anti-Fascist worker, Goch, Rhineland, alleged 
suicide in prison, (Vossiscke Z e itung.) konietzny, Communist 
worker, Oelsnitz, Erzgebirge, alleged suicide in prison. 
( Vossiscke Zeitung.) 

April 24th. unknown man, Honer Moor, tarred and burnt, alleged 
suicide. (Volkischer Beobachter.) cordes and son, merchants, 
Wittmund, near Bremen, shot in a pogrom. (WTB.) 

April 25th. MENDEL HABER, merchant, Dortmund, shot, and his 
body thrown into the river. (Dortmunder General Anzeiger.) 
two unnamed workers, Heil, Lippe, found dead. (Volkischer 
Beobachter.) granitza, worker, Konigsberg, shot “ while 
trying to escape.” (Nachtausgabe.) 

April 26th. WILLY plonske, worker, Berlin, found dead. (Angriff.) 


nr- 






LIST OF MURDERS 347 

April 27th. ERWIN volkmar, Neukolln, Berlin, alleged unpolitical 
murder, shot in the street. (Angriff.) 

April 28th. unnamed man, Wollenberg, Oberbarnim, shot and 
burnt. (Frankfurter Zeitung.) funk, Communist member of the 
Riechstag, Dortmund, murdered in prison, alleged suicide. 
(Angriff.) fritz gumbert, Communist worker, Heidenau, 
beaten to death after weeks of torture. (See report.) 

April 29th. unknown man, found murdered near Werneuchen in 
the Mark. (WTB.) 

April 30th. hackstein, Communist # worker, Gravenbroich, shot 
ts while trying to escape.” (Kolnische Z e ^ un g>) andres von 
flotov, German Nationalist landowner, arrested by Nazis 
and shot <e while trying to escape.” (Conti.) 

End April, unnamed worker, Ebersdorf, Saxony, and heinz 
goldberg, member of Red Sports organisation, shot in the 
cellar of Hermann-Goering House , Lobau. (Witness.) 

May 2nd. rodenstock, Social Democratic secretary of the 
Municipal Workers’ ynion, and two unknown trade union 
officials, tortured and beaten to death in Nazi barracks in 
Duisburg. (Witness.) danziger, Jewish merchant, Duisburg, 
attacked by Nazis and so brutally treated that he died. 
(Witness.) 

May 3rd. dr. ernst oberfohren, chairman of German Nationalist 
fraction in Reichstag, found dead in his Kiel house. Described 
as suicide. (See report.) 

May 4th. unnamed member of stahlhelm, Berlin, shot in Nazi 
quarters. (Saarbruck Arbeiter ^ritawg.) 

May 5th. simon katz, worker, Polish citizen, beaten to death. 
(Witness.) unnamed man, Potsdam, tied up and thrown into 
the river. (Vossische Z e ^ un i‘) spangenberg. Communist 
worker, Bredereiche, Templin, alleged suicide in prison. 
(Vossische Z eitun §-) unnamed dye-worker, Sagan, alleged 
suicide, murdered in prison. (WTB.) 


May 6th. unnamed girl, Grossen, found dead. (Angriff.) 

May 8th. dr. egkstein, leader of Socialist Labour Party, Breslau, 
tortured to death, (WTB.) 


May 9th. dr. meyer, Jewish dentist, Wuppertal, mutilated by 
Nazis and drowned. (Witness.) galinowski, worker, Allen- 
* stein, shot “ while trying to escape.” (WTB.) 



348 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

May ioth. unnamed young worker, member of Red Spoi 
organisation, Wedding, Berlin, murdered in Nazi barrac 
in the Hedemannstrasse. (Witness.) 

May 1 ith. biedermann, Social Democratic member of the Reic 
stag, Hamburg, described as suicide. ( Frankfurter Z e ^ un i 
gluckow, Communist worker, Berlin, tortured, died in hosj 
tal. (Witness.) 

May 1 2th. sepp goetz, Communist member of the Diet, maltreat 
and murdered in Dachau concentration camp. (Witness.) 

May 13th. unnamed nazi auxiliary policeman, Kiel, found sho 
he had asked when the Government was going to carry 0 
its promises. ( Frankfurter Zeitung.) henseler, Commun 
worker, Dusseldorf, shot. {Germania.) 'j 

May 15th. dr. Alfred strauss, Munich, a lawyer, aged 30,; 
German Jew, beaten to death. (Witness.) unnamed member! 
stahlhelm, Berlin, attacked by Nazis and stabbed to deat 
(Witness.) paletti, Schoneberg, Berlin, tortured to deat 
(Witness.) # 

May 1 7th. Hermann riedel, Gladbeck, alleged suicide. {Der Tq 
Johannes and wilhelm bardt, Duisburg, beaten to deat 
(Der Tag.) 

May 1 8th. unknown man, Berlin, alleged suicide. (Vossist 
Zeitung.) honkstein, Grevenbroich, shot “while trying 
escape. 55 {WTB.) 

May 19th. leonhard hausmann, Communist official, shot “ whj 
trying to escape 55 in Dachau concentration camp. (WTB { 

May 20th. Arthur muller, a worker, member of Reichsbannj 
f beaten to death in Nazi barracks, General Papestrasse, Berli 
(Witness.) j 

May 25th. schloss, a merchant, Niirnberg, shot. (Witness.) \ 

May 26th. gromann, an artist, Duisburg, shot by protects 
corps men in Kalkumer Wood. (Witness.) j 

~ May 27th. franz lehrb urger, Niirnberg, shot <fi while trying 
escape in the Dachau concentration camp. (. Frankfw 
Kurier.) 

May 29th. wilhelm aron, of Bamberg, member of Reichsbannj 
shot in Dachau “ while trying to escape. 55 (. Bamberger Z^n 

End of May. two communist workers shot in Siegburg conc< 
tration camp. (Witness.) 


LIST OF MURDERS 


349 

line 8th. storm trooper, Diisseldorf, shot for distributing oppo- 
sition leaflets. (Dortmund General Anzeiger.) 
line ioth. karl lottes, Communist worker, shot “ while trying 
to escape.” ( WTB .) fritz kokorenz, a storm trooper in 
opposition, found shot in his home, Berlin. (Witness.) Walter 
: ERNST, found half buried in Hennigsdorf Gemetery, Berlin. 
{WTB.) 

me 1 2th. unnamed worker, Essen, shot “ while trying to 
escape.” ( TU .) 

me 20 th. Walter kersing, worker, member of German 
j Nationalist youth organisation, Frankfurt-on-Oder, shot by 
I Nazis in a “ dispute.” (WTB.) 

>ne 2 ist. paul urban, worker, Brandenburg, alleged suicide 
> in prison. (. Nachtausgabe .) three unknown men, found dead 
i in a pool, with their arms and legs bound, at Neustadtel near 
I Zwickau. (12 -Uhr Mittagsblatt.) 

jne 22nd. altenburg, Communist worker, Arnswalde, Neumark, 

I skot “ while trying to escape.” (Deutsche Allgemeine Z eitun ^) 

! sghmaus family, father, mother and son, murdered by storm 
1 troopers. (See report.) rakovski, worker, Kopenick, shot by 
; storm troopers. (See report.) Johannes spelling, former premier 
of Mecklenburg, murdered. (See report.) paul von essen, 
member of Reichsbanner, Kopenick, beaten to death. (See 
report.) 

ne 24th. Arthur may, Communist official, Aachen, shot “ while 
trying to escape.” (Police report, Aachen.) 
ne 26th. unknown communist worker, Braunschweig, mur- 
| dered in prison, alleged suicide, (WTB.) 
pae 29th, dr. rosenfelder, lawyer, Niirnberg, murdered in 
Dachau concentration camp. (Witness.) 
id of June, glasper, local leader of Red Aid organisation, 
Elberfeld. gottschalk, town councillor, otto dattem, 
Communist councillor, Elberfeld, murdered shortly after 
release from concentration camp, body thrown into a river. 0 


erwin D abler, a young worker, found dead, mutilated. 
gorsmeier, Elberfeld, shot by Nazis after arrest and thrown 
into a pool, unnamed worker, Elberfeld, found shot in the 
Bremerstrasse. unnamed worker, Elberfeld, found shot. (All 
of these Elberfeld murders are authenticated in reports from 
witnesses.) hunglinger, police officer, Munich. Sebastian 



§ 


350 BROWN BOOK OF THE HITLER TERROR 

nefzger, Munich, michael sigman, Social Democrat, ram, 
dered in Dachau concentration camp. (Reports from wit 
nesses.) 

July i st. max margoliner, merchant, Breslau, maltreated in tlii 
Brown House during April, died in hospital two months later] 
(Witness.) 

July i oth. Joseph nies, journalist, member of Freethinkers 9 League] 
Erfurt. Alfred noll, Communist official, Jena, unnamed! 
communist worker, Erfurt. All three shot by storm trooped 
when the illegal printing-press used for the Thuringer Volksbktl 
was discovered. (Witness?) 

July 1 2th. assmann, member of Reichsbanner, Kopenick, killed 
in the Kopenick “ St. Bartholomew’s night.” (See report] 
van tende, Communist worker, Essen, political prisoner 
since October 1931, shot “ while trying to escape.” (Conti* j 
WTB.) schulz, Communist member of Diet, Berlin, died in' 
hospital after maltreatment. (Temps.) fritz lange, Communist 
worker, Konigsberg, lynched. (Angriff.) Joseph messinger, 
Communist worker, Bonn, murdered ki prison, alleged suicide. 
(Havas agency.) •; 

July 14th. franz braun, editor of Volkswackt , Stettin, murdered 
in his cell the day after he was arrested. ( Conti-WTB .) three 
unknown communists, Schwerin, shot “ while trying to escape ” 
on their way to Sonnenburg concentration camp. (Vossische 
Zeitung.) unknown communist worker, Stettin, shot. (Conti- 
WTB.) unnamed communist official, Bochum, shot c< while 
trying to escape.” (Vossische Z e ^ un i') j 

July 15th. speer, a tailor, Berlin, found with his throat cut>| 
through, (Witness.) klara wagner, typist, Treptow, Berlin, ■" 
shot. (Witness.) • 'm 

July 17th. dr. wilhelm schafer, Frankfurt, ex-Nazi, found shot. : - 
(Frankfurter Zeitung.) f 

July 20th. unnamed worker, Berlin, found dead at Hirschgarten. 
(Witness.) man, 50 years of age, found dead near Berlin.'/ 
(Witness.) hugo feddersen, Communist worker, Hamburg, 
murdered in prison, alleged suicide. (WTB.) storm trooper, -V 
Obermenzig, near Munich, found shot ; he had adopted an (( 
opposition standpoint, (Conti-WTB.) 

July 24th. erich and gustav rudolf, Dtihringshof, shot “ while !' \ 
trying to escape.” (Frankfurter Zeitung.) three storm troopers 


LIST OF MURDERS 


351 

of opposition tendency found shot, Griinewald, Berlin, 
(Witness,) jaskowiak, Nazi of opposition tendency, Lever- 
kusen, shot by a protective corps man 44 in self-defence.” 
(Dortmund General Anzeiger.) 

July 29th. solecki, Communist worker, Iserlohn, shot by auxiliary 
police 44 in self-defence. 59 (WTB.) heinrich foerding, Com- 
munist worker, Coesfeld, thrown from window of police 
station, Recklinghausen, alleged suicide. (WTB.) 

August 1st. Four workers, lutgens, tesch, wolff and moller, 
executed in Altona.